Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
‘To be holy’, the simply mention of those words can either harness thoughts of reverence and respect, or fear and despair. Fear, because of the images and demands that come to mind, and the concern ‘am I able’, and yet this is who God calls us to be. And, so we despair, wondering have or will we ever meet the mark? And yet, to think of someone as holy, also leaves you with a sense of awe, and feelings of deep respect.
In truth, in our own strength we cannot achieve this high demand. It is only as the God, the Holy One, enables us to journey with Him, that we become His holy vessel. As, by His grace, He leads us to faith in Christ, the Lord has already started us on this journey of holiness. To empower us for this high calling, He gives us the Holy Spirit…yes the hint and capability of what our new life is to be is in His name.
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:14-18)
Perhaps the other key factor is to realise that as He has now purchased us by His blood, we are no longer ours, and have become part of His family, and citizens of heaven…not of the world. Thus, our challenge is to continually remind ourselves we are to now to walk to the beat of a different drum, dancing the dance of holiness as the Lord now plays the tune of our life. We are to no longer to follower the pipers of this world.
We have been set apart.
Our lives are to no longer be driven by the desires of our body, and our own thoughts and feelings, rather by the truth and Spirit of God. By His Spirit, God will lead us in to a journey that takes us deeper in to who He is, which often simply means, 1) spending more time with Him, in increasing measure, including consuming His written word – the Bible, 2) learning to obey His often quiet internal voice, and 3) with a child like faith, trust Him in all He asks you to do.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Sure, we will fail at times, but HIs grace will still call us in to this journey. He knows our frames are made of dust, and as clay vessels we have our cracks, but thankfully He looks at us through the eyes of faith, and the veil of the blood of Christ. With such amazing love, He sees us as the holy ones, made right by His Son, and continues to call to us, “come to Me, you are Mine”. In many ways, the battles lies in our minds. Firstly, to accept our identities as His holy children, and secondly to deny all those thoughts that seek to entice us to fulfil our carnal desires, or to follow those around us.
Many in the world will see the holiness on your life, and rather than aspire to ascend that mountain, they will try to pull you off it. It appeases their conscience to see you at their level, rather than to live with the discomfort of knowing where they currently are…for Christ in you has become their mirror.
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. (Psalms 24:3-4)
As this era comes to an end, and the return of Christ draws near, the darkness of the world becomes darker, but so to the brightness of the Lord and His presence. As His vessel, we to are to become those bright, burning, flames of love for God. This is holiness. In His grace He gave us the door to this road of holiness, through Christ, and by His mercy, according to the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, we can travel along this highway.
Christ is returning for His spotless (set apart, cleansed, holy) Bride. This is our calling. Increasingly we are not able to continue in a way of compromise, the demand of God calls us to the higher ground. He is looking, do we wear the garments of holiness? Are we fit to be at the wedding feast? Are we the spotless ones He desires? He will not leave us to do this in our own strength, He has not only poured our His Spirit, but will also pour out His baptism of fire.
“Lord, give us the eyes to see who we are in You, and fill us with Your love and power, to be Your holy ones, denying ourselves to become the image of Christ.”
A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. (Isaiah 35:8).