“Living the Christian Life”
Beloved, these are the forces the enemy is using to challenge the life that we are supposed to live as Christians. On one hand, we are allowing heresy in our churches and on the other we are turning our heads away when our brothers and sisters are engaging in life-styles of sin. 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us:
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”
When we make-up our minds that we are going to pursue holiness, our presence alone will be a justifiable reason for the world to persecute us. Holiness is not weak; holiness confronts sin, rebukes, stands bold against false prophets and false teachers. However, the beauty of true holiness is that it helps us to take a deeper look at ourselves, so than when the time comes for us to confront the sins of others, we take a good look at our own heart and motives. Even as we are talking about holiness there may be a tendency to take these series as if all we are focusing on is the sins of others and we are just wild, judgmental and spiritual police officers looking to see whom we may devour. That is not the case; we are just pointing out and bringing forth a conversation about the vital need for us to understand our call to be holy and also taking a look at some of our challenges:
- The pre-judgment of this topic based on previous experiences with certain denominations.
- Our lack of fear for God!
- Our false application and lack of understanding of God’s love. God loves us, therefore it is almost like we can do whatever we want.
- Our lack of knowledge of holiness and the character of God.
- Our lack of boldness and courage to confront the sin in our own camp.
- Our lack of boldness to confront the false prophets and teachers that have funded wide audiences around our nation.
- The political Correctness that has taken over many sectors of our churches. Our fear to offend people.
- The self-opinion that we already know everything that needs to known about holiness.
10. The idea that we are already holy in Christ and therefore there is no further responsibility to pursue holiness.
11. The mentality that we can’t live the Christian Life. Even as in ourselves we can’t; there is a rejection of the fact that we have a divine nature in us that gives us the power to carry this thing out in Jesus’ name and for His glory.
12. Many have also fallen in a trap that says that because I am not perfect I can’t confront sin. If that is so, sin can’t ever be confronted. That is why sin is confronted in love and with humility.
13. The excuse that states: “I am trying!” This is not about trying, this is about surrendering.
The face of holiness does not tell us that we must be holy on our own, we can never do that; Christian Living is challenging us with some “heart-hitting” questions: Do you want to be holy? Is the desire even there? Do you want to die to self or do you still see yourself as good? Is your heart after God or is your heart after the things of this world? Holiness is a deep desire to please the Father and recognize His power and the power that He has given us. Are we holy in our conversations; in our secret places; in the way we dress? Are we a peculiar people or are we like everybody else? For women to dress-up and go out in public showing almost everything the Lord gave them is not holy. For us to be using profanity in such a normal way as we eat our food is not holy. For us to gossip and talk about our brothers behind their backs is not holy. For us to go off every time we do not get our way is not holy. For us to run to alcohol and drugs to medicate our pain and frustrations is not holy. For us to allow ourselves and our families to watch inappropriate movies and to listen to worldly music is not holy. For us to engage in a hint sexual immorality, for us to be greedy, loud, etc. is not holy. The Holiness Movement pointed at these things; however, they went about the wrong way when they tried to force these things on people. This is not merely about external behaviors; this is about changes in our hearts that will be automatically manifest in our daily living. So as we surround ourselves with people, including us, with different issues; it is our duty to pay the price of developing a relationship and to disciple the weaker or newer brother and sister in the ways of the Lord. That is what we are called to do; to make disciples; followers of the teachings and ways of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is why holiness takes us beyond little holiday outreaches and leading people into the “sinner’s prayer.” All that is wonderful; but we are called to make disciples.
To be continued…