It's week six of Revive Our Hearts at Family Life Bible Church and our focus is on "Our Call to Holiness." I've realized that it is not only the call from our Lord to be holy but it is His design for us as well. His plan is for a people who follow Him first and foremost. That's why it's interesting to recognize that some of us stumble when it comes to holiness.
So let's define what holiness is for a moment. The idea for the scriptural use of the word "holy" is to be set apart by or for God. At it's very core the word holy means different. In the view of being a follower of Christ we are different from the world because we are being transformed into the image or likeness of Christ. In fact, this process of change we are going through comes from the same word. You might say we are being made holy.
Many times you have heard holiness or holy refer to someone who is spiritually miles ahead or maybe someone who carried the attitude of being "holier than thou." This view is far from the truth. On one hand God is doing his purifying work in our lives but on the other hand we are also participating. The writer of Hebrews says to "strive . . . for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
Several that I've talked to recently don't have a problem with being holy as much as they do with striving for holiness. Why? Well because striving usually requires effort and many people are so tired. What makes everyone tired? If I can sum it up in one word it would be life. There are so many things that wear us down in the daily grind. If we plunge into the day like diving into a pool of icy water then we immediately kick into high gear just to keep our heads above water. For many of us we would be better off easing into the day. That happens when we make preparations for what is ahead and choosing our responses well ahead of time.
The preparation takes place in quiet moments with the Father. I wonder if Jesus and His followers grew tired in their daily duties. I also wonder if they were worn out with life like we sometimes are. I do know that we find several times where Jesus withdrew to certain areas or would jump into a boat with his followers to retreat to a quiet place. Once we find him asleep in the back of a boat while the wind, waves, and terror of nature rages all around him. I'm sure it's safe to say they and he grew tired from the experiences of life.
So how did Jesus maintain a life centered on His purpose of relationship with the Father and ministry to the world? He achieved it with a steady diet of spending time with the Father. He longed for each moment that He could get away in quiet prayer with His Father. In other words He didn't squander his downtime with things that would wear him out like we often do. Instead He valued the things that would draw Him close to the plan and purpose of the Father.
If we want to identify with a pattern of holy living then we need to look to the One who lived a holy life as the Son of God draped with human flesh. There was no battle for holy ground that He lost because He was unprepared. There was no part of God's plan left unfulfilled because He felt He deserved time for Himself. He pursued holiness because He was God, yes, but also because He, "for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Anticipate your future with Christ, shake off your tiredness, and be holy as He is holy.
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