This begins a series on Personal Holiness. The title alone may send some people running, but before you take off ask yourself why this topic makes you want to run and hide.
Perhaps the idea of holiness sounds unattainable or maybe it conjures up images of Nuns and Monks living in silence and celibacy. Hopefully after reading this, your perceptions of holiness will be changed as well as your heart.
We are called to be Holy as He is holy… so what exactly does that mean?
Holiness is being set apart and devoted to God.
We are created in God’s image, so our lives are to be a reflection of the creator.
When we follow God and seek to know Him through reading the bible, praying and serving Him with our time, talents and treasure we honor Him.
How do we live lives of devotion when we live in perpetual motion and activity?
How are we to set ourselves apart to be still and listen for the whisper of God’s voice amidst the roar of things and people clamoring for our attention and allegiance?
I believe that devotion requires effort on our part. We set ourselves up for failure and disappointment if we believe holiness comes shipped via Fed Ex overnite and will arrive on our doorstep with the just the click of a mouse.
Personal holiness is a choice.
Personal holiness requires commitment.
Personal holiness is a lifestyle.
I recently spoke at a Women’s Conference and talked about what it means in practicality to renew your mind. The theme of the conference was based on the book “Made to Crave” and presented in video by Lysa Terkeurst.
During the video presentation Lysa talked about being pre determined to make changes in the way we view eating and food choices. I think that in order to see sincere change in our lives, in our relationships with God and to be holy, it requires us to be spiritually determined.
Romans 12:1-2 make this point as it talks about how we are to live and describes our responsibility in this life.
“1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The world is constantly vying for our attention and will stop at nothing to deter, derail and discourage our hearts by keeping us busy and distracted.
Holiness is not a one size fits all deal with God. Holiness is something that is cultivated as we spend time knowing and pursuing God’s heart.
There are many things in life that distract us from God and keep us from being fully devoted. This is where choice comes into play. We will at some point need to choose to offer ourselves to God as an act of worship.
To follow God we need to be willing to surrender our plans, our activities and our desires and lay them at His feet.
Our jobs, families, and hobbies – even our ministry can pull us from God and take our focus away from pursuing a sacred life, but what about when we are more than just being distracted… what about our sin?
Distractions and sin are a hindrance to our holiness.
Psalm 32 is a great example of un confessed sin and the results of trying to live without God. It says,
“3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night our hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
When we live with un confessed sin in our lives, we are living life the hard way.
Greed, idolatry, lust, drunkenness, gambling, anger, gossip and laziness are but a few areas that can trip us up and stand in the way of us living out lives of personal holiness that glorify God and allow us to worship Him in truth and experience true freedom in Christ.
Over the next week on “the couch”, we will be delving into some areas of personal holiness and talking about how to turn these areas over to God and begin to live in freedom rather than being enslaved to the things that keep us from being devoted.
My desire is to help you begin to recognize areas in your life that are hindering your growth in your relationship with God. Come stop by the couch and bring a friend…the conversation is just getting started.
Grace & Peace ~ Karen Cook