The Pursuit Of Holiness
by dumi nkomo
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Holiness is a key essential in any journey. Without holiness no one can see God, so says the Bible and as such it would be prudent to take God at His Word and pursue holiness at all costs. If ever you would want to amount to anything in life you need to hold onto the things God prioritises.
Holiness can be defined as being “set apart from sin.” In other words, God demands of us that we be separated from sin. When we go back to the beginning one will realise that it was sin that caused this chasm between man and God. For a time God had enjoyed an intimate relationship with Adam and Eve. But the day they fell short of the glory the next best thing was for God to have relationships with those who wanted to.
However, we realise later on in scripture that God desired to interact with man but the only limitation was sin. He would place a demand through the Sermon on the Mount for holiness. We need to be holy as our heavenly Father and God is holy. We therefore need to maintain the minimum requirements God has set for us. So the basic is being set apart from sin for you to engage and succeed in this journey.
Why should we maintain holiness one would ask? The chief reason is that we will be doing things to glorify God. And that which glorifies Him is for us to be holy. When we are holy we tend to reveal the nature of Him who is in us. God’s nature is manifested as we live holy lives. So our chief pursuit must be of holiness.
Lessons From Psalm 51
In the Word we see certain people who maintained a lifestyle of holiness, one of these was David. He was a man who understood that he was not perfect but was able to fall back on God and realign his life. We see a perfect picture in Psalm 51 when the man pours out his heart before God having fallen into serious sin. For so long in his life he had seen the Hand of God open doors and do great things for him. At a time as this all he could do was fall back on God and ask for forgiveness.
He was intent on seeking the mercies of God. He knew that the anger of God was temporary yet His mercies endured for a lifetime. We too need to learn to confess our sins and wait on the LORD for a better tomorrow. David realised that he was at fault in erring against the LORD, breaking the Law with his sin and so to maintain a lifestyle of holiness he had to call on God. Confession of sins enables us to walk in tandem with God. He would encourage His people at all times to bring a sin offering as a sign of acknowledgment of their error. When He realised the abuses in the system, God chose to bring a perfect sacrifice to make us clean before His Presence in the form of Jesus Christ. And therefore we are able to confess our sins to God and be cleansed of all unrighteousness.
David longed for a clean heart for he knew it was the only way to get in touch with God. We need a clean heart where God can abide in our lives. Remember in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says those of a pure and clean heart are those who will see God. As pursuers we need to maintain the right heart attitude for us to be able to do anything for the Kingdom. The Face of God will reveal His glory over our lives and enable us to walk in victory at all times.
David knew the power of a clean heart. He must have prophetically understood that his heart and God’s were in tune. We read in Acts where the apostles tell us that David was a man after God’s heart. He must have known somehow that for him to make an eternal impact he had to set his heart right with God. We too need to set our hearts right with the Maker.
At salvation God changes our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh that can be sensitive to the leading of God, a heart that He can condition to doing His will. We need our hearts to be led of God for there to be any value added in our lives. David knew that a heart out of place was going to do him more harm than good. Oh, that as pursuers we would incline our hearts to God and keep them pure and holy.
We need to remember that our hearts are meant to be the residence of God, a place where He will indwell us and give us daily guidance, wisdom and direction to conquer all that is ahead of us. Like David our cry must be for a pure heart, where no defilement can abide. We need to keep focused on our pursuit of holiness and deal with the most deceptive member of our bodies, the heart.
The wisest man to live, King Solomon encourages the reader to safeguard the heart for from it proceeds the issues of life. Our hearts are the thinking centres that direct all that goes on in our lives. Once the heart is defiled it can affect the rest of the body. As such we need to guard the heart above all for the issues that affect our wellbeing and make up come form it. The heart according to Jeremiah is deceptive and no one can understand it.
Therefore holiness must start from the heart and proceed to affect the rest of our human and spiritual anatomy. Once we set the heart right all else falls into place. Our hearts will then begin to shape our thought patterns and actions. It would appear the heart is the residence of the Spirit of God and as such it must be conditioned to accommodate and be influenced by the same Spirit.
We also realise that David understood the need for a holy life to enjoy the benefits of salvation. His cry was for God to restore to him the joy of his salvation. He understood that salvation had freed his spirit, flesh and emotional life. He also understood that him who had been set free by the Son of Man was free indeed. Our salvation has given us access to the privileges others dream about.
Because of it we have been set free and given a stake in the Kingdom of God and access to the blessing of Abraham. When we walk in holiness we get to access the full benefits of salvation, we can walk in and maintain our freedom in our emotional, spiritual and physical states. We need to be upheld by a free spirit so that we can walk in untainted liberty at all times.
How To Become Holy
A friend taught me the “hows” of holiness which is part of what I will share in this portion. There are five of them but it does not mean these are all the ways.
A Good Relationship With God
A relationship has defined things that make it work. At times it can be the “dos” and “don’ts” of a relationship, at other times it may be protocols we are expected to follow. We each need to play our part in ensuring that things work according to the plan and pattern God has established. It is therefore expedient that we maintain our communication lines clear with God and exercise our speaking and listening techniques.
In any relationship communication is a necessity and without it things are bound to be distorted and relations affected. We must learn to hear that which the LORD desires of us and let Him build our lives into that which he expects. You see, God knows the path to holiness and He has placed for us a Highway of Holiness to walk upon.
As such we need to learn from Him the right paths to take and the kind of ways to walk in. Brethren, value a good relationship as it alone has the capability of setting you apart as a pursuer of the highest calibre. In the same way that we love to keep our relationships clear with man, so too must we maintain a mutual relationship with our Father in heaven.
Ability To Confess And Forsake Sin
We have already seen from the life of David that a clean heart is pleasing before God. We therefore need to develop a culture of correcting our faults the minute we step out of line. We need to make sure that when we fall we get up and keep going rather than to wallow in sin. Remember it is possible that sin will stop the move of God in our lives. We therefore need to take the advice of the Apostle John and confess our sins so that He may cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We must note carefully the observation made by the second point: the need to forsake sin. When we fall into sin it is prudent to find ways of getting out of it and leaving it behind as well. We can ask Him with whom we have a relationship to help us forsake sin. Any bad habit will be hard to break but with the right kind of support group we can make it.
Allowing Others To read Our Spiritual Barometers
Everyone needs accountability partners for them to make it on this lifetime journey. We need people around us who will help gauge our spiritual walk with God and have the right to speak into our lives the minute we fall into error. Theses are the same people who will help us find our feet again, the same people who will correct, rebuke and exhort us at all times. We need to be open with a particular people so that we can survive this walk.
Presenting Self To God And Surrendering To Him
God alone must lead us to where we ought to be. He alone knows the way we should go and He already has our destination set out for us. What better way to get there than to allow Him who has the directions to take us there. It’s up to you to go to God with your life and allow Him to take over the driver’s seat and allow Him to drive you where you ought to go. We see Jesus allowing the Holy Spirit to drive Him into the wilderness for a time of testing and we know the result: a Jesus who cam back in the power of the Holy Spirit.
You and I as journeyers also need to live surrendered lives. A surrendered life is one that says, “Here I am send me, do with me what You will.” Isaiah was conscious of himself when he availed his life for God’s service. We need to be like the burnt offering that would surrender its life for the sake of setting the Israelites free from sin. It is time we learnt the principle of submission for us to succeed in our walk with God.
Renew Our Minds Daily
Romans 12v2 gives us a vivid picture of the expectations of God for our lives, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” We need to have our thoughts and mindsets changed to accommodate that which God has lined up for us. We need, by the renewal of our minds, to prove what is the good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Remember our minds are not born again at salvation. It is our role now as the saved to renew our minds through the word of God and prayer. Where we are weak we need to learn that His grace is sufficient for us as His power is manifested in our weaknesses. It is therefore of great importance that we get a new worldview coming into our minds and we begin seeing as God sees.
There are things to watch out for on this journey:
Your heart has to be in the pursuit for holiness. You cannot pursue God or holiness when your heart has no connection. A pure heart is what God desires, what God longs for.
Your mind has to be in it. You need to keep your eyes of the mind fixed on Jesus as you go with Him.
You need not tire or be discouraged. Each pursuit my have stumbling blocks but you need to persist and persevere. He who endures to the end will be saved.
God will only entrust us with certain things as we live according to His standards. His secrets will be revealed to those who are prepared to live separated lives. As you take a survey in the Word, you will find that only those who have separated themselves are those who will carry His Glory. Are you willing to take that step?
“But as He who called you is Holy, so be holy in all manner of conduct.”
1 Peter 1v15
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