Sometimes I think that the reason we shun holiness is because we are too afraid to identify ourselves with God. He suffered. He died. He made Himself vulnerable to everyone. None of this is easy or comfortable. To abandon is to give up any idea of being cool or maintaining “composure.” No sir, to give it all, means you gonna get jacked up somewhere along the way.
Holiness, by shear definition, goes right along with consecration and sanctification. Consecration very literally means “set-apartness.” How is it then that we seek to pursue a holy God and be “set apart” unto Him and His uses by trying to blend in with the world? Kinda like holding on when we know we need to let gone. We are supposed to be the salt of the world, but have settled for flavorless additives that benefit very little. We seem to have lost our “flavor” for this thing called holiness. Or our stomachs for it anyway.
Holiness, Godlike-ness, is dangerous. Saying, “I want to be set apart, Lord,” is a big, sweeping statement that robs you, many times, of the ability to have the right to do whatever you want in life after you have given Jesus a thumbs-up for salvation and all that death-on-the-cross stuff. Opting for a holy life is opting to give up your right to yourself, which in my opinion should be synonymous with the Spirit-Filled life or life of discipleship (I don’t know, choose your poison).
The problem we run into is the force-fed idea that Jesus loves us “just the way we are.” Contrary to this, and more biblical to boot, Jesus DOES love you “right where you are.” While we were yet sinners…. And it may sound a tad cliche, but He loves us enough to not leave us alone. He wants for us to grow so we can see more of Him, experience His character, and deeper blessings, dwell in His Presence, etc. If we let Him, He will remove and reorder many things in us to make us more like Himself. Saying you want to be holy is supposed to give God the keys to your car.
Maybe I’m the first person in a while to say this, or not, but I believe that the Lord DOES care about every thought, motive, word, action, attitude, and every stance we do or do not take in life. “Well, me and my Maker got something worked out.” I’m good. My walk is ok. I’m fine. I hear things like this from people who don’t seem to really enjoy pursuing God, but instead are pursuing life, careers, relationships, money, sex, fun, acceptance, ministry success—what have you—far before God, the Bible, Jesus, or holiness enter the mix.
Again, I still don’t understand why every Christian doesn’t get saved and think, “He gave everything for me; I will give everything for Him.”
Simple. Radical. Normal Christianity. Equals=abnormal American christian.
And many out there think I am heavy-handed, sometimes pushy or strict, or just a flaming zealot, but I firmly believe that you SHOULD want more of the goodness and wonder of God all the time (if you are investing in a relationship with Him). And honestly, if you don’t, something has got to be wrong. You couldn’t choke down a hard saying of Christ, you gave into temptation and condemnation, you are bitter with church or someone at church, or you have simply enjoyed the bed of “lovers so less wild.” Whatever it is, see to it that you have not left your first love, if you have ever loved Him at all.
Am I the only one who thinks it abnormal to not abnormally respond—going head over heels—for someone who died for you and provided eternal life? The proper response is the crazy one. Crazy love, somebody said that’s how it should be. And by the amount of books they sold, I think they were on to something…as if this idea were somehow close to a new and novel one. In the light of revolutionary expressions of love, being holy because He is holy, doesn’t seem so odd…or difficult.
Honestly, it seems natural and logical.