Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
What are you pursuing in your life these days? Are you pursuing a career? A family? An education? These can all be wonderful things, but let me suggest that unless you are also pursuing holiness with God actively, you need to make some changes in your life.
Pursuing holiness is an activity ripe for procrastination. If a group of people were polled, not many people would likely place “pursuing holiness” at the top of their “bucket list” of things to accomplish in life. Most bucket lists contain exciting adventures ahead of holiness, which typically languishes near the bottom, if it even makes the list. Failure to assign a high priority to holiness is a human reaction, but perhaps we should ask where God places the pursuit of holiness on the list of what He desires us to do.
The fact is, God demands holiness and places its pursuit in a position of extreme importance. Scripture tells us “But just as He who called you is Holy, so be Holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be Holy, because I AM Holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16). We also read, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be Holy; without holiness no one will see the LORD.” (Hebrews 12:14).
God is telling us clearly that He wants us to pursue holiness, both in ourselves and in Christ’s Church. He tells us through His Holy Word that pursuing holiness is a normal and good activity. If you want to see God in your life or want God to become real in your daily living, you must strive to be Holy. No other way exists to grow closer to God except the pursuit of personal holiness.
Your intimacy with God grows only to the degree you commit to become a transformed man or woman who is growing in purity, cleanliness, righteousness, Godliness, uprightness , and intolerance of sin in your life. You cannot possibly grow in your relationship with Jesus unless you give very serious attention to personal holiness in your life, and God tells us through His Son these are normal pursuits: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8).
The notion of pursuing holiness makes a lot of people uncomfortable. If it didn’t, more people would be doing it. Pursuing holiness can also make the Church uncomfortable. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t see so many “user-friendly” churches springing up. Most people and many churches find holiness boring and unnecessary. Many people would rather attend a church with visually-stimulated learning, dramatized worship, quality light and sound systems, and seeker-sensitive services to ensure no one is offended.
I won’t speak for God, but I think He is more interested in growing a Holy church than a user-friendly church (Acts 5:1-11, Revelation 2:1-29, 3:1-22). This is especially true if we mean a user-friendly church that compromises with the world, becoming like the world so people will feel more comfortable (Revelation 2:14-16, 20-25). Paul exhorts us, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1-2).
Is the objective of the church to conduct worship such that a lost unbeliever can attend a worship service and feel totally at home and comfortable? I don’t think the prophet Isaiah felt too comfortable when he came to church one day and stepped into the presence of the Holy God. He cried out in horror and dreadful fear. “Woe to me….I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5). His words do not imply a user-friendly church.
Our God is dead serious about personal holiness because He is Holy. Even if it offends you or makes you feel uncomfortable, God still wants you to pursue holiness in yourself and in your church. He tells us through His Holy Word that He values and demands holiness. It is a normal and serious pursuit. I think it’s time we got serious about it, whether we like it or not.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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