I hope you didn’t come to read this blog post in order to find a quick formula for becoming holy. Because then you will be disappointed. There is no such quick-fix formula. But we are not out of hope, either. Because God gave us the Holy Spirit to do his work in us. Through prayer we can approach God and state our willingness to be changed, to become holy like the Father God.
But we have also been given another huge gift: the Holy Bible. In some ways it is such an undervalued gift. We often read it hurriedly as a duty or searching for verses to make us feel good. But there are so much more waiting for us if we take our time to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and read the holy scriptures and let the Word read us, change us, make us holy like the Father God. Aha! There is something we can do to become holy. We can be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and read the Word! Yes! That’s right!
The more we contemplate the Word, the more we study the ways of God, the more we become holy like our God is holy. It’s not our doing. It’s all work of the Holy Spirit. But if we don’t enter the presence of the Holy Spirit, if we don’t let the God’s word change us inside out there is not going to be any change. We need to be obedient in reading and letting be read by the Holy Bible.
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. (Hebrews 4:12-13, MSG)
Praying and reading the Word are the ways of Christians to reorient themselves. They help us to get the perspective right. We are not the centers of the universe. God is. The perspective of Christians is the perspective of the world reversed. Our perspective starts with God, the perspective of the world starts with an individual. In order to be reoriented in the chaos of the world we need to get back to the Word of God, into the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way we can become holy. Just see yourself how fast you can get your perspective right by reading and praying Psalm 8 (MSG):
God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords of sheep and cattle,
even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
whales singing in the ocean deeps.
God, brilliant Lord,
your name echoes around the world.
You are so holy!
Draw us near to you,
back to your love and grace.
Change us inside out!
Make us holy like you!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Have you experienced the Word reading you? How has the Bible become special to you? Why do you think the Bible is so undervalued gift even among Christians?
Blessings to you, fellow pilgrim, as you search your way to become holy like your Father God is holy!
P.S. The first quarterly Flowing Faith Newsletter is going out soon. If you want to get it, too, sign up!
Photo courtesy of Justin Soderberg