I hope you have been finding my series on having a relationship with God useful. We have looked at prayer and bible study and more recently, worship. These are all excellent ways to develop our relationship with God.
This week I am going to look at how our personal holiness helps us to connect with God in a wonderfully personal way, as we pray, read our bibles and worship.
We have been created in God’s image and likeness. As His ambassadors to the world He wants us to reflect His image to all those we come into contact with.
As we get to know God and understand the impact of His grace on our lives, our desires change and we want to become more like Him. We want to ‘take off’ the things that He doesn’t like and ‘put on’ the things that please Him.
Personal holiness can be described as being set apart and devoted to God. It is the determination and commitment to allow these disciplines of prayer, bible study and worship to change us to become more like Him.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
God’s desire is that we grow in holiness. He commands in Leviticus 11:45:
“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”
He doesn’t ask us to do anything we are unable to do. He has given us His Holy Spirit. The consecration process happens as we willingly follow His ways and rely on Him to make us holy.
Devotion requires effort, not in order to win His favour or any other such thing, but out of a desire to please Him and give Him glory.
There are 3 things to consider when we look at the subject of “Personal Holiness”:
- Personal holiness is a choice.
- Personal holiness requires commitment.
- Personal holiness is a lifestyle.
It’s a Battle
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The world is vying for our attention. Having become Christians we still find ourselves struggling against sin and temptation. In fact when you gave your life to Christ you entered into a war zone. (Take heart- you are on the winning side!)
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)
We also see the warning that Jesus gives to Peter: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
Reading these verses it is obvious that God holds us responsible to make the effort to be holy, but it is comforting to know that Jesus is praying for us and will help us, and of course as I have mentioned before, He has given us His precious Holy Spirit. Let’s invite Him this week to fill us and help us as we draw ever closer into this wonderful relationship with Him.