When I first became a Christian, I struggled with the word 'holiness'. After all, I came from a background of Buddhism, where holiness was a state of doing and not of being. To be holy, one needs to fulfil a list of religious requirements.
I'm sure many of us have attended wedding ceremonies. Husbands and wives exchange vows. I have never heard this set of wedding vows exchange "I will not commit adultery, I will not desire another man/woman, I will not divorce the moment I find something I didn't like about my husband etc." Somehow, it is understood that the moment a man or woman became one, it is understood that they will be separate from another other man or woman. Somehow, it is understood that right behaviour proceeds out of the right understanding of their state of being - which is husband and wife.
May I emphasize that holiness is a state of being. The day you and I became one with Christ, we will be separate from every other God. That is what the Apostle Paul was emphasizing in the above scriptures. Basically, he is saying "If you know who you are - sons and daughters of the Most High God, the bride of Christ - then you will know
and have the right behaviour that is in accordance with that thinking." We can do without being, but we cannot be without doing. Our actions reflects who we are. Otherwise, what we do is a mere facade to please the whims and fancies of men.
Holiness is not a popular subject nowadays because it requires us to be different. It requires a separation. A separation of the way we act from the way the world acts. A separation of the way we think from the way the world thinks. A separation of the way we feel from the way the world feels.
Holiness means we cry love when the world cries hate. It means we cry forgiveness when the world cries revenge. It means self control when the world cries indulgence, lust, jealousy, envy etc. Holiness means that our lives should no longer be treated as "common" but as set apart as unto the Lord.
Every item in the temple of God is holy. Only the priest who is set apart for the task can handle the holy things. Every item in the temple of God is set apart for the Lord. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Every item in this living temple - our mind, emotions, will, physical bodies no longer belong to ourselves but is set apart for the Lord. It is a daily process of sanctification - of setting apart each part of our lives to the Lord. Is it possible? Yes!!! Will it be difficult? Yes!!! Because we are creatures of habit. We have been living the flesh so long that it will take time to adjust to living in the Spirit. But, the final result will be glorious and magnificent - the day we become sons and daughters who reflect the glory of God.
In 1999, Julia Roberts acted in a film called Runaway Bride. Everytime she appears before the bridegroom, she runs for her life. Interestingly, the church sometimes acts the same way as the Bride of Christ. The moment the Lord demands something of our lives which we are not comfortable with, we run for our dear lives. The children of Israel ran from Sinai when God called them to a deeper relationship.They rather hear God from Moses than themselves. Jonah ran from the presence of God. When will be stop running and make a commitment?
May I challenge you this day to make a commitment to the Lord and not run away from people, circumstance, situations that He has put into your life to purify you. It may be difficult but the rewards are out of this world - eternal, everlasting love, joy and peace.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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