“…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 1:15-16)
Anytime we disobey a commandment we sin, therefore if we are not seeking holiness we sin. That’s some simple teaching there; even a child can grasp that. But remember, do not confuse simple with easy. The devil will fight you with all he as to keep you from holiness, but your flesh and will are your greatest opponents. Why? Because they want preeminence in your life and for holiness to be attained you must give the spirit first place.
But there are more reasons to seek holiness than just obedience. How about gratitude?
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Remember dear readers, anytime you come across the word “therefore” in the Bible, you want to find out what it is there for. In this case, Paul says we need to be holy because we have promises from as outlined in 2 Corinthians 6. Among them we have 1) the promise of God dwelling with us if we will be holy; 2) the promise that God will receive us if we will be holy; and 3) the promise that God will be our Father and we His sons and daughters if we will be sanctified (2 Corinthians 6:11-18).
You might be thinking to yourself, “Praise God I’m not violating my flesh.” I say praise God too, however Paul said we are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and SPIRIT…”
Beloved, what is your thought life like? What do you dwell on during the day? In your mind, what is preeminent as you go through your workaday day? Are you concentrating on getting even with someone? Are you conjuring up thoughts that raise up bitterness and resentment within your spirit? Are you cultivating thoughts of hate in your mind towards your political enemies? Remember our admonition from Hebrews:
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
Are you having a hard time connecting with the Lord during your Bible study and/or prayer time? What’s your thought life like?
In his great book “Sold Out”, former Colorado University football coach Bill McCartney wrote about having to practice mental fasting in where he would purge all negative thoughts, particularly those he had of others. He wrote about how he had disdain for weak people and would think unkindly towards these people.
Over the years I’ve often took up mental fasting in such a way and I confess I do not do it enough. I’m beginning again today. Why? What is so important about that which I concentrate? Because not doing so guarantees conflict, but doing so guarantees not only peace, but also the God of peace:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
Imagine your thought life being so. What would your day be like? To not concentrate on things that disturb our minds and to dwell on those that distill our thoughts towards holiness! If they made a pill like that you can bet I’d be taking one every morning. My mind can be my worse enemy.
Purity of thought should be the constant goal of every Christian. Many may reach for it but few will attain it. Why? Because we always try to do so in our own power and our own program. Here’s a guarantee: if you are not daily seeking God’s face through prayer and His word, then you will rarely, if at all, which the thought life described here.
Why? You have three enemies that will war against such holiness: 1) your flesh, 2) your will, and 3) Satan. Those our three formidable foes of which your spirit and mind alone are feeble to fight. However, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, prayed up and poured over Scripture, then you are now fortified for a day of holiness. What a way to glorify our Father!
Perhaps these thoughts are foreign to you. They were to me one time, but one day I had an encounter with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. I realized, through reading and concentrating on His Word, that what I perceived as my personal holiness, my ticket into heaven, were nothing more than filthy rags. I confessed my sins to Jesus, sought His forgiveness, and repented of my sinful lifestyle. I pray if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior that you would receive Him today, right now.
I will tell you that the journey that I am on is a long and winding road, one that I have often left on my own power to my own demise. But our Lord is faithful to forgive us; His Word promises so:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
What about you dear Christian? Have you wandered away from the path of righteousness? Please understand that the road to redemption is open to all those who truly seek Jesus. Come back, confess your sins and be restored to the right relationship our Lord so desperately seeks of you.
When we are seeking holiness it is then and only then we are avoiding wickedness. We all desire the former but to often end up with the latter.
How about we change that trend today?
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers