I have a question to ask you. “What do you want”? What was the first thing that popped in your head? This simple question can reveal the thing that we focus on and think about most.
If you have been in a situation where you were faced with a choice to either compromise your convictions regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ and stay, and do what your friends, or employer, etc. were asking you to do, or to stand for your faith and leave, with them rejecting you for your convictions, and being shamed for not “giving in”? If you have then you sensed the smile and approval of the Lord, along with something special from Him to you (that something special for me was, revelation, insight, and this ministry). And for you? But you also bear the burden of sorrow that comes with the rejection, either from the world or from other believers.
So, what is “holiness”. If you read the devotion above you see that it is something “other, higher, different, unique, glorious, and clearly not of this world” This word has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many over the years. But correctly understood, it is glorious!!! Why? Because it only comes from God. And because it was what made Christ who He was. It’s what gave Him His power, authority, victory, compassion, gentleness, and love. In other words Christ was consumed by holiness. Let us look at the first part of this word “HOLY” It means in it’s simplest terms, “set-apart, [above, unique, special]”. Now let us add another word “SPIRIT”. And put together we get what made both Christ and the Christian “God-like”. Jesus was both human and divine. He was 100% man and 100% God. A question, how was Jesus raised from the dead, how did He overcome the devil in the wilderness, How did He do wonders? By the Spirit of “Holiness”. When Christ sent the Spirit upon the Church at Pentecost in Acts 2 it gave the Church both “power and authority”. How did Moses write the Law, how did the prophets prophesy, how did David write Psalms, or Solomon write Proverbs, or the New Testament writers write the New Testament? By the Spirit of Holiness. How do you and I overcome sin, withstand Satan, overcome the world and its lies and temptations, how do we use the gifts of the Spirit, or forgive others, extend mercy, show compassion, and love? ONLY by the Spirit of Holiness. I am intentionally writing it “Spirit of Holiness” so that we might focus on the word differently and truly grasp the importance of HOLINESS.
As I mentioned at the beginning. If you have been persecuted by the world or other believers for acting upon your convictions of faith. Then you were being obedient to the “Spirit of Holiness” and you are blessed by God! The Holy Spirit will never compromise with the world, or with other believers who are not heeding His voice. They will lose discernment to the Spirit’s leading (if they are a Christian), while you will increase in discernment to the Lord’s voice. And if they are an unbeliever, then their heart just got a little harder. Anyway, here are some scriptures to examine, just a few of the many, which point to the necessity of the Christian to “walk in holiness”
” ‘The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands… shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?’ ” (Ezra 9:1-2, 14, emphasis mine)
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor 6:14-18, emphasis mine).
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened….But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Cor 5:6-7, 11-13, emphasis mine). Side note: we are to judge other Christians “ONLY according to the Word of God, in truth, with checking if there is a plank in our own eye first, with humility, and self-examination!!!
Lastly, I know it can be difficult to swallow. It can be misused. It WILL be misunderstood by many. And you will be persecuted for it. But living a Holy, Godly life will “Bring heaven to earth for you” You will have the power and wisdom of God to lead your every step and He will even go before you and behind you wherever you go!!! But know this brothers and sisters: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:12-13).
So again. What do you want? Holiness