What do you think? Is holiness old-fashioned? Fasting during the Lent is (for most Christians) a voluntary thing. But too often we think all the discipline and growing in grace is optional, too. Even if you are not interested in hidden blessings hidden through discipline, you are called to be holy like God is holy. Holiness is not voluntary. It is the new normal for children of God.
Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children,you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy.It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16, CEB)
Like D.A. Carson has put it: “People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance;
we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom;
we drift toward superstition and call it faith.
We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation;
we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism;
we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
We think that it will be fun to cross the lines as we please but that does not bring happiness or beauty. We think that God is not powerful enough to help us here and now hence we don’t bother with discipline. We think holiness is weird or uncomfortable and we stick with the lifestyle around us. But that’s not how it works. That’s not what God wants for us. Don’t you know God is doing a new thing!
Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths in the wilderness.
(Isaiah 43:19, CEB)
The same grace that saved us will sanctify us if we allow it. The same Spirit that rose Christ on the third day will empower us if we let it happen. The same God that created the world will make a new thing in your life if you are willing. What do you say? Are you ready for holiness and hidden blessings along the way? Because, you see, the more we seek God, the more fruits of the Spirit will sprout up in our neighborhood.
Fasting does not make us better Christians. Discipline does not save us. Only God’s grace through Christ does it. But we are called to become Christ-like, holy like the Father is. The only way to do that is through obedience. It does not happen without our effort.
If you are not a big fan of obedience and seeking the Lord, start with praying that God will give you a huge desire to become like him. If you have trouble finding time for discipline, make it a habit, schedule it into your life. If you procrastinate with reading the Bible, put a timer on and read for five minutes and you might be surprised how much more you want to read.
Jesus is not a thing of the past.
God is not out of date.
Holiness is not old-fashioned.
Forgive us for thinking we don’t need holiness.
Forgive us for not finding time for discipline.
Cleanse us from worldliness.
Give us a huge desire to know you.
Make us holy like you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What do you think? Is holiness a thing of the past? Why/why not? What does help you towards holiness?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you seek the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul!