If I were to take a poll comprised of answers to today’s question I would wager that most people would declare a heartfelt “I do!” But sadly today’s “church” culture would suggest EVIDENCE that many would answer “No, not really.”
WHY is that?
WHY does human nature seek to find ways to justify secret, immoral, unholy living?
Why are Jesus followers dabbling in things that the Word of God clearly says that we are to stay away from? Is this why the church, (the “Bride of Christ”) carries so little fragrance to the many “outside” her walls?
When will the Bride of Christ understand how serious God is about us living lives of purity?
For a few days now I have been praying, and processing over a rabbit trail of scripture as a result of study in Hebrews chapter twelve.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make STRAIGHT paths for your feet, SO THAT what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. STRIVE for peace with everyone AND FOR the HOLINESS without which NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD. See to it that NO ONE fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that NO ONE is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau…..” (Heb. 12:12-16)
The writer of Hebrews urges us to STRIVE for holiness, without it we will not see the Lord! And Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter five: “BLESSED are the PURE IN HEART for they SHALL SEE GOD.” (verse 8).
Purity and holiness; two beautiful words that if dumped into a clear glass to become liquid I would see perfect clarity almost as though the substance had no existence, like clean air. There would be no floating residue, distracting particles or shadows created by existing mud.
“BLESSED are the PURE in HEART, for they SHALL SEE GOD.” A pure heart, a holy heart is a heart of perfect clarity; the filter is clean, we see through pure air to the Throne of God, to God Himself. There is no hindrance, just a straight run, right to His feet.
Is it possible that the enemy of our souls is seeking to keep us busy with what temporarily entices the heart? (our hearts, we are instructed in scripture, are to be kept “with all vigilance for FROM it FLOW THE SPRINGS OF LIFE.” Prov.4:23). Satan knows what chronic enticements and sin bring sorrow to the heart of God, and what keeps our hearts enslaved and polluted.
A side note here; what often accompanies unholy living is discouragement, a spider web of self-absorption. Self-absorption IS the fool proof trap that prohibits us from seeing God. What remains in our sight lines is failure; cyclic behavior is born which then gives birth to two sisters named “Addiction” and “Bondage” who dress themselves with self-pity.
I am thinking of John 10:10 again; “The thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy. I came THAT they may have life and have it ABUNDANTLY.”
DO YOU DESIRE TO SEE GOD?
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica he wrote; “God has not called us for impurity but in HOLINESS.” (1 Thess. 4:7).
In the book of Ephesians Paul also writes;” But sexual immorality and ALL impurity or covetousness MUST NOT EVEN BE NAMED AMONG YOU, as is proper among saints. Let there be NO filthiness, nor foolish talk, nor crude joking, which are out of place, BUT INSTEAD let there be thanksgiving. For you may be SURE about this, that EVERYONE who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous (that is, an idoltar), has NO INHERITANCE in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Eph. 5:3-5)
WHY do we not SEE God?
If purity and holiness are direct specifications required OF US to “see” God; WHY ARE SO MANY WASTING TIME LIVING AS THOUGH THEY DO NOT BELIEVE GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS?
Listen to this! “But AS HE who called you IS HOLY, YOU ALSO be holy in ALL your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1Pet.1:15-16; I encourage you to read the entire passage, verses 13-25).
What is it that is not understood about the life of Christ living within us? And the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to live a life of victory?
Galatians 2:20 says; “I have been crucified WITH CHRIST. It is NO LONGER I who live, but CHRIST who LIVES IN ME. And the life I NOW LIVE in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who LOVED me and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.”
If we believe by faith that Jesus gave His life for ours SO THAT we COULD and WOULD live in VICTORY from the destructive power of sin; and if we actually believe what we profess, that Jesus LIVES IN US (I’m thinking now of Philippians 1:21; “for to me to live IS CHRIST…”) then WHY are so many WASTING time living IN BONDAGE TO UNHOLY LIVING?? Is Jesus who He says He is or not? Tell me what is it that is not being understood about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?!
How is it possible for anyone professing faith in Jesus to not crave to SEE and KNOW and be drawn into deep communion with God? The One who created us? The One who loves us more than we could possibly understand? (see Psalm 103)
I really, truly believe WITH ALL MY HEART, SOUL, MIND AND STRENGTH that WE CAN and WE WILL “see” God THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY, that we can and will know Him; we will hear from Him; we will experience Him; we will trust Him; we will feel His breath on the back of our necks; we will tremble in awe and fear and be humbled; We will be drawn to and hunger and thirst for MORE of Him, and we will know His love.
Is this not the point of holy living….MORE of God LIVING IN us?!! Glass-like reflections of the God of the universe….can you imagine the beauty evidenced to a watching, desperately lost world? Will we see God move in ways that we have not seen or heard of in many years? I believe He is waiting for us to decide WHO we will follow.
Is it not time for the Bride of Christ to be the BRIDE OF CHRIST? Was she not presented SPOTLESS, and HOLY? Why then do we think that as part of that body we can crank off careless living that leads to cyclic addictive living to the very things that we are told to stay away from?
NOW is the time to confess and repent, NOW is the time to start LIVING a life reflective on the One who LIVES within you and I.
RIGHT NOW, TODAY…DON’T WAIT…. God desires to BE SEEN, TO BE KNOWN, to be LOVED by us; but because we do not have eyes of faith we are settling for eyes of worthless tangibles and a future of self-destruction.
I close off today with 2Pet.1-4; “His divine POWER has granted to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which He has granted TO us His precious and VERY GREAT PROMISES, so that THROUGH them you may become PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE, having ESCAPED from the corruption that is in this world BECAUSE OF sinful desire…” (I encourage you to read that entire passage of scripture…smile!).