I want to state from the outset of this post that this may come off as harsh and even as senseless venting but there is a point. So let’s get to it…
I am Annoyed at the way “Christians” (<-and I use the term loosely) have managed to ignore/avoid/shun the words Holy and Holiness. It irks my nerve and as of late it has really been getting to me. However, in an effort to think the best of all men I have concluded that some people just don’t understand what Holy means or what Holiness is. But for those who do and who choose to keep themselves ignorant shame on you!
I posted this as my facebook status the other day and I’m so serious about it: “Stop making excuses already. Live Holy.”
Some people who say they are Christians just find all the excuses in the world to avoid Holiness – like it’s an option that they simply chose not to go with.
Holiness is not an option it’s a requirement. I’m not making this up. It’s there in your Bible just like it’s here in my Bible and any other Bible one may come across. Without Holiness no one can see God (Hebrews 12:14). The New Living Translation (NLT) puts it this way “…work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” I like that translation because it makes it clear that living Holy takes work, it takes effort. Sin is easy. Every and anybody can sin. To sin is to be human. But to live holy is to be Christ like – it means being a true child of God, an altogether Christian and not an almost Christian. However, it seems to me that these days people can’t be bothered with putting the work in and making an effort to live Holy. They make excuses and would rather remain comfortable in their sin, living lives void of conviction. That’s not how Holiness works.
So for those who don’t know and even for those of us who do…
Holiness is simply lining up your life with God’s Word – ALL of God’s Word not just the parts you like and that are easy for you to do. It seems to me these days that a lot of “Christians” are picking and choosing what parts of the Bible they like and choose to obey. An Example of picking and choosing: “I’m a Christian. I don’t commit murder or steal :Thinks to self: But I see nothing wrong with with sex outside of marriage.” Or “I love the Lord. I gossip every now and again because that’s not as bad as killing, stealing, lying or fornicating. And there’s some people I just can’t stand and I won’t be bothered with them. The Bible says I can mark them. So I’ve marked them.” The Bible also says to love your neighbor as yourself. Stop rewriting the Bible and creating your own religion.
Holiness means being set apart for and dedicated to the service of God. Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior this is what you have essentially signed up for. When you accept Christ you are saying “Lord I want to live like you did so I want you to teach me through your word so that I can be what you created me to be successfully” and that dear friends requires holiness.
Holiness also means separation from worldliness which means choosing to love the things of God rather than loving the world and the things in it (1 John 2:15-16). Sadly, I feel that the church today has become entwined with the world – because as a body it seems that we have found ourselves in a position where we do love the things of the world equal to or even more than the things of God. That’s why Christians are participating in the latest trends and fads. They want to be seen by the world as hip and cool. God created the world and the things in it for us to enjoy, yes, but sin has come in and perverted the system and there should be nothing in the world that we love so much that we refuse to give it up if /when necessary, when we come to Christ. Why? Because this world is temporal (temporal and subject to change). When we become children of God we become members of an eternal and unshakeable Kingdom. “We don’t look at the things which are seen, we look at the things which are not seen, because the things we see now are temporal (temporary and subject to change); but the things we cannot see are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)
Some things to consider:
Holiness and Filthiness cannot reside in the same space.
When temple worship was restored in the days of King Hezekiah the filthiness had to be carried out of the holy place (2 Chronicles 29:5). For a more practical application we can look at James 3:10-12 and Revelation 3:15-16. James says that if out of the same mouth comes praises to God and curses, something ain’t right, because an olive tree doesn’t produce berries and a fountain can’t bring forth both fresh water and salt water. In Revelation, God basically says pick a side, holiness or worldliness, are you hot or are you cold, choose one because if you choose to be lukewarm – I’ll spit you out of my mouth. Don’t date God on Sunday morning and be sleeping with the enemy Sunday evening through the rest of the week. So please no more thinking that God “blessed” you and your boy/girl friend with an apartment to live together unmarried, or that God gave you this already married man/woman to be your husband/wife. No. God is Holy and He will have no part in filthiness, your mess and my mess included. He sees it. He knows it. But He won’t be a part of it.
Holiness paired with Faith results in miracle working power.
People are looking for God to do miracles, signs and wonders today and it’s not that He can’t and it’s not that He won’t and it’s not that He isn’t but God will only display His power where people allow Him to. When our lives are not aligned with His Word we are saying God we don’t want you here. James 4:3 says “You ask [in prayer] but you don’t receive because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.” For example we ask to see God work in our lives and bless us financially and make us millionaires but it’s because we want to go on a shopping spree not because we want to help build His Kingdom. Holiness means wanting to please God more than we please ourselves. Holiness is not an act. It is not about long skirts, turtle necks, sad faces, and no jewelry because honestly you can dress like that and still be the worst fornicator, or gossiper, or liar or even all three. Yes, dressing appropriately and modestly is a result of Holiness but Holiness extends deeper than that, holiness is reflected even in our motives.
Walking in love and having godly balance is also apart of Holiness. You can’t live holy on the job and then be the biggest tyrant at home. You can’t live holy and be dedicated to the service of God in church but then your family and personal life is in shambles – that’s not Jesus. Consistency is a part of Holiness. Integrity and purity are a part of Holiness. You should be the same person at all times no matter the setting or the people around you – because that’s who Jesus was and that’s what Jesus did. And if we claim to be like Christ, which is what the word Christian means, then we need to be true reflections of Him in the earth and not tainted and perverted counterfeit.
We need to stop viewing ourselves through the world’s lens. The church should be setting the trends not following them. There is nothing boring or scary about being holy. Living holy doesn’t mean you can’t laugh and have fun and hang out. Actually living holy means laughing more because you are stress free knowing that God has promised you victory and rest, it means having more fun because your needs will be met with abundance and your crazy faith will allow you to go bungee jumping or sky diving and when you hang out with other people who are living holy the talking and fun will probably have to be forced to come to an end because otherwise you’ll just keep going and going. Holiness doesn’t require you to lose your personality, your style or your flavor it is simply the result of living out God’s Word.
I love to laugh. I love to have fun. I love to hang out. And I’m ready and wanting to see miracles, signs and wonders so let’s all of us as Christians get on board. No more excuses. No more rationalizing sin. No more only abiding by certain Bible verses and disregarding the rest. Let’s do this thing right. Live Holy.
Holiness unto the Lord.