I have taught on the topic of holiness many times, and one of the biggest hindrances people have with the concept of holiness is that they will never be perfect. Admittedly some could use this as just an excuse to hard, spiritual work within the spiritual disciplines, but many honestly feel that they will never be good enough to be truly holy.
I believe this to be one of the biggest misnomers with Holiness = perfection and being “good enough” was never the goal of Holiness. Instead, becoming the image of Christ is what we should all aspire to be in our lives. This can happen all at once, (entire sanctification) but predominately what I have found to be more consistent are the incremental adjustments to habits as one strives to shatter to the molds of the former life before Christ through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the surrender of those strong holds by the Christian.
It would be impractical to equate holiness with human perfection.
This is not like a Christmas good/bad Santa (Father Christmas) list…where the bad ones do not get toys. We need to explore what being “good enough” really means in the Christian realm.
Being “good enough” does not mean we walk through all the spiritual hoops and do all of the “sacred” rituals in order for us to be saved and holy. We can go to church every single day and dress the part, and never truly aspire an inch towards holiness. Doing the work, though good, is not the objective…this should merely be an outpouring, or evidence of the transformation on that inward change in our lives. Being Holy – drives the spiritual life into action. Declaring that you are a child of the Most High aligns you with the One who can transform and shape you. We, in and of our own efforts and striving, will never aspire to full sanctification – not even close. Our own efforts might draw public acclaim and pats on the back, but deep within our own conscience we will innately know that we are not, nor could ever be holy. Instead, the One who takes up residence within us, God’s very presence – at the moment of conversion, is the only means by which this complete transformation of Holiness could ever occur. So let us debunk the myth that being good enough is either possible or sufficient for practical holiness.
Executing Practical Holiness
I am on the opinion that real, authentic, practical holiness begins with a conversation.
Not just any conversation, but THEE conversation. The constant conversation between mortal and the Immortality of God. The communing with Deity and the creation. This conversation does not end. It begins at conversion and, with extreme discipline to pray, we can become in tune to listening to and for His presence.
God would come down daily and fellowship with Adam and Eve, in this fellowship, one could gather that they talked about their day, their emotions, their everything. Nothing was left out, no secret kept, no hidden agendas – just pure fellowship. Could it be that this simplistic, continual conversation with God is where true Holiness really begins? Could it be that instead of performing rituals and dressing the part and acting pious, we could ACTUALLY be Holy through conversations with God?
I have read many theologians on the topic of Holiness, many theories, many notions, and I would never presume to call myself a theologian by any means…but it seems to me that we as humans make something far more complicated than it really has to be. Not to say that these theologians make it complicated, but rather we, as people tend to over think things far too much – including what God requires from us as Christ-followers.
Yes, it says in the Bible – “Be Holy because I, the Lord is Holy” (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16) But what does that mean, how does that look? I would contend that in order to fully understand practical holiness, we must first become full in tune with God through the constancy of our conversations with Him. Through this first approach, we will be better receptors of His messages to us as individuals and as a part of the Vine/Body.
So…tell me, what do you think about Holiness?
What does Practical Holiness look like to you?
Is Holiness, in your estimation attainable to you?
How will you know when you have become holy?
These are tough question to answer, let alone personally answer there for real, without barriers or pretenses.
Tell us what you think!
Something more for us to Ponder today!