Monday, September 19, 2011
The Respect Series 7: "The Holy Factor"
Now, this may rub some Christians the wrong way. If you can, focus on the point of the message and hear God's heart within the matter. Instead of looking at me or yourself, let us both seek to clearly look at and listen to God. With that said and with no further ado, God wants holiness to come forth through our lives. But he wants HIS VERSION of holiness to come forth and not our own. In Leviticus 20:26 and I Peter 1:16 God desires for us to be holy, EVEN AS He is holy.
Holiness is based upon His standard and on His terms. And we CANNOT meet His standard of holiness apart from Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Therefore, we should STOP trying to become something we already are.
You're not trying to become holy, you're already holy..., so just be yourself---the real you that is, according to I Corinthians 5:17. Easier said than done, hummm! Why?
Because many people don't know who the real them really is. How does it look? How does it act? What does it like? Many Christians are trying to become Godly right now, when they never became Godly in the first place. They never died for anyone's sins, not even their own. Their good deeds of sacrifice and service don't impress God one bit---the monk, priest, archbishop, pastor, deacon, prayer warrior, nun, tither, missionary, or even simple Christian.
Some people are religious extremists and will blow themselves up, killing innocent people, for their holiness. Others will pray for an hour 3x a day and fast 5 days a week for theirs. Also, others will bathe in sacred rivers, worship trees, or become devoted to a cult or masonic order for theirs.
Okay, what am I really getting at? It's this, we need God in order to live for God---in order to be holy. IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH IN AND OF YOURSELF! In order to meet His lofty standard of PERFECTION. In order to truly give Him what He desires from us. See, God is love. I Corinthians 13 makes it pretty clear that, even if we do Godly things, without it being done in HIS DEFINITION of love we're wasting our time. Without God is doing things without His direction and you heeding to His leading through loving obedience. This obedience thing is key. The Bible says, that to God, ...obedience is better than sacrifice... (I Samuel 15:22). Seek to obey what He's telling YOU to do, not so much what every other Christian is doing, even if it's Godly. For example, Hebrews 11 reveals many Christians who God honored for their faith. And each one of them were approved for their specific obedience to what God called THEM to do. None of them followed God quite the same---one may have built an ark in order to save mankind, while another led a nation out of bondage into a promised land. The list goes on and on.
Being overly religious for Godly respect is a waste of time. Those who you impress with "ohs" and "ahs" will rob you of the major and eternal heavenly reward God has for you (Matthew 6). The holiness that God wants to respect is your simple obedience to Him.