How do I respond to God's holiness?
How do I respond when He says, "Becky, be holy because I am Holy"?
The easiest thing to do is be moralistic about it; and start working on the externals only. It is at times easier to say no to a movie or to a certain music than to say no to a habit that seems more "spiritual" but at the end of the day, in the quietness of my bed, I know it is not what God wants for me.
God justified me when I did not deserve His forgiveness, but He wants me to work on my salvation with fear and trembling every day; Sproul says it well:
"To be spiritual has only one real purpose. it is a means to an end, not the end itself. The goal of all spiritual exercise must be the goal of righteousness. God calls us to be holy. Christ sets the priority of the Christian life: 'But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well' (Matt. 6:33) The goal is righteousness"
This chapter is one in which we are encouraged to examine ourselves and see what are we living for; how are we pursuing this goal that God has set before us.
We need to be careful on how we live our lives, on how we journey under His sun every day. Let us not forget that the devil will be trying to deceive even the chosen ones. Maybe we think we are pursuing a holy life when in reality we are just pursuing a moralistic life. We might miss the mark, if we don't consider our steps and our motives in the light of the Scripture-
In this chapter Sproul also explains about the differences between happiness and pleasure, read his words:
"My sins have not brought me happiness. But my sins have brought me pleasure. I like pleasure. I am still very much attracted to pleasure. Pleasure can be great fun. And not all pleasures are sins. There is much pleasure to be found in righteousness. But the difference is still there. Sn can be pleasurable, but it never brings happiness.Now if I understand all this why would I ever be tempted to sin? It seems silly that anyone who knows the difference between happiness and pleasure would continue to trade happiness for pleasure. It seems utterly stupid for a person to do something that he knows will rob him happiness. Yet we do it. The mystery of sin is not only that it s wicked and destructive but also that it is so downright stupid"
It is just incredible to read this and be willing to admit that this is our condition -at least mine- . Many times I trade the happiness of serving those around me for the momentary pleasure of doing my own thing. This is indeed a stupid thing to do.
Because God has called me to be holy where I am now, then I must start seeing my home as holy ground, as a sacred place. It is in my daily life, the life I live behind dishes, and books, and math, and cooking, and talking and listening, the place in which I must show myself holy.
Dr. Sproul goes on to explain what does it mean to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:1-2) This is a very interesting study of the verse, so I invite you to read the book to find out all the treasures hidden there! However, I do want to say that I agree with the author:
"It is a tragedy that the matter of nonconformity has been treated by Christians at a shallow level. The simplistic way of non conforming is to see what is in style in our culture and then do the opposite...The call of nonconformity is a call to a deeper level of righteousness that goes beyond externals. When piety is defined exclusively in terms of externals, the whole point of the apostle's teaching has been lost. Somehow we have failed to hear Jesus' words that it is not what goes into a person's mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of that mouth. We still want to make the kingdom a matter of eating and drinking.Anyone can avoid dancing or going to the movies. These require no great effort of moral courage. What is difficult is to control the tongue, to act with integrity, to reveal the fruit of the Spirit"
This is my prayer today, I do not want to be conformed to this world; but I long to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I want to "rigorously pursue the kingdom of God", to study the Word of God deeply, to "master the Word of God".
Sanctification is a process but is not a passive one. It is one that requires a real, and "serious level of sacrifice"
"That is the call of excellence we have received. We are not to be like the rest of the world, content to live our lives with a superficial understanding of God. We are to grow dissatisfied with spiritual milk and hunger after spiritual meat"
May His grace abound as we pursue our calling to live a holy life under His sun and by His grace,
The Holiness of God- Chapter Seven -War and Peace with a Holy God-
The Holiness of God - Chapter Six -Holy Justice-
Celebrating the Incarnation of Our Lord - Part I-