IN THE LIVING LIFE LESSONS COLUMN I AM SHARING LESSONS GOD HAS TAUGHT ME THESE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. TODAY LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGE OF LIVING A HOLY LIFE.
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” ~ 1 Peter 1:14-16
It wasn’t too long after I turned my life back over to God in 2004 when I ran across the above Scripture. After living a wayward lifestyle for several years I was faced with the pressure that I was now expected to be holy.
How in the world can I possibly be holy?
The problem was with my own thinking and interpretation, not with the verse. I thought this verse said it was my responsibility to become holy. When in fact that is not the case.
Holiness isn’t anything that I have the ability to do or be in my own power. It isn’t about following a bunch of rules or regulations like many churches would have us believe. Instead holiness is about a relationship with God.
Because the Holy Spirit can only dwell in holy places, when I received Christ as my Savior and the Holy Spirit came to live in me,my spirit became a holy place.
Now that doesn’t mean my body and mind automatically became holy, because they didn’t. Certainly I still struggle in those areas. But God doesn’t ask us to do anything He doesn’t equip us to do. So by the power of the Holy Spirit and my efforts of studying God’s Word my mind and behavior are improving.
The most important thing to remember is that God wants us to strive for holiness. He doesn’t expect perfection. He only asks that we make efforts toward perfection. Arrival at holiness isn’t expected by God. He only asks that we pursue it.
For me a red flag that I’m not walking in holiness is when past desires or behaviors flair up. This is a sure sign that I haven’t been spending enough time with God.
When God brings this to my awareness I get back to work doing what I know He wants me to do… Strive toward holiness… one step at a time.
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