The Pursuit of Holiness
Posted: Thursday, February 26
Verse of the day:
Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
If we serve a holy God, then we should strive to be a holy people. We know that we cannot obtain perfection in a world that is fallen to the stain of sin. However, our holiness is not about obtaining perfection but each day drawing closer to God and further from the person that we used to be. Many times I tell teens that the next step after accepting the love and saving power of God in their lives is to begin to do better today than you did yesterday. This process of gradual improvement helps to move us to separation from this world. We will stumble and we will fall, yet we need to always remember that God is as much about the process as he is the outcome. He longs for a relationship with us. Part of having a relationship is the process.
Many parents enjoy great relationships with their children in their thirties and forties. They enjoy the friendship that has grown between parent and child. However, that friendship is the fruit of a relationship through the turbulent teens and early twenties. If the parent had not been engaged during those difficult years, they would not be able to enjoy the closeness that has grown. A parent can see the young adult they want their teen to develop into: hard-working, grounded, faithful, trustworthy, etc. These characteristics grow out of life circumstances that teach and mold their teens. When they walk with them through this process, the stress that it puts on the relationship causes growth. The fruit of that tension is a stronger bond.
God sees our lives now and he sees the person he longs for us to be. He does not just create us as perfect robots but imperfect people so he can enjoy the process of seeing us become who he created us to be. God wants to walk us through the process of becoming holy. Have you ever wondered why God did not just take away all your imperfections the moment you were saved? He longs for relationship with you and part of relationship is walking through life with you, his child. He wants to see your growing pains. He knows that the dynamic tension that is created when we are put into stressful situations will strengthen our resolve. James writes about his in James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
God has this great picture of who he created you to be. God desires for us to be holy, righteous, set apart, and one of his chosen people. These characteristics are the end goal. God derives great joy in the journey of your faith in him, not just the day you arrive.