Who is Hindering My Holiness?

Our Pastor inquires, “If, as the Bible commands, it is God’s desire and will that His people be holy, why doesn’t He just magically zap us into a perfect and hallowed state; make us a pious people whose holiness is never hindered?”

We know that “in Christ,” we are positionally seated with Him at the right hand of the Father, but I can be honest enough here to admit I don’t always reflect the person of my position (Ephesians 1:13). Okay, I did say honest… perhaps I meant rarely.

What I mean to suggest is that we are positionally wearing Christ’s robe of righteousness, and our calling is to allow the holiness that has been given to us to work its way into every fabric of our lives. Sanctification, if you will. Yet, holiness I fear, is hardly a rampant feature I portray.

What exactly is it that hinders the sanctification process and makes a mockery of our “pursuit of holiness?”

According to Isaiah, it’s not God. He once shared with Israel, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear (59:1).”

If I grasp what Isaiah is saying here, God is able to hear our desires and do something about them. The question then is “do I desire holiness?” If so, it appears that God is all in to make it happen. The prophet gives us a clear indicator as to whether we do or do not have this desire when he continues, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (59:2).”

My Pastor reminds me that holiness is not a thing; it is a person. If we will define holiness, it will be by naming the name of Jesus, for He alone is holy. In Him, we find that His holiness is attributed to our account, but it must find its way into our lifestyles also. If holiness is hindered here in this temple; it is all my doing.

To desire to know Jesus is to desire to be holy. These cannot be separated, and yet, how often do I cling to those sins that I hate… and love?

The answer then is of course to pursue Jesus and expect holiness. He first pursued us and gave us His holiness; we therefore pursue Him and reflect His holiness.

The author of 2nd Chronicles defines it this way, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (7:14).”

This verse has become so familiar that I often read through it without recognizing the terms in play. God declares we must be a people of humility and prayer, a people desperately seeking Him, and a people repentant of our sins.

To pursue Jesus means to walk as He walked, to think as He thought, to live as He lived… loving God with our all and our neighbors as ourselves. In a Kingdom such as this, holiness is never hindered.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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11 Responses to Who is Hindering My Holiness?

  1. >> “If holiness is hindered here in this temple; it is all my doing”
    That says it.
    Our gracious God has provided everything we need to live victorious lives in Him. He is always with us, always ready, always willing, always able. He always indwells, but if we limit the scope of His indwelling by closing off areas of our lives to His influence, it is not His fault. If we do not use the resources He has given us, it is not His fault.
    When we submit to Him, and allow Him to reign,His holiness is not hindered, but will shine in and through us to reach others.

  2. lambskinny says:

    Yep, it’s all me when I am ‘un-holy’ – and it’s all Him when I am ‘holy.’ Many blessings, Michael. Carley

    • mtsweat says:

      Hi Carley! The right actions in their right locations… He is holy, and I am not. But praise the Lord, He empowers us to be vessels of His holiness. BTW, “Annie Dreaming” is excellent. I was detained from getting into it, but am now about half way… this is one really good write. Hoping to finish it over the next couple of days, and will submit reviews and an ad here. If one wasn’t willing to give Charlie a fair shake in MMW, they will find themselves humbled after learning of these contributing details in AD. Also, love the carry-in to Nam and Rick. Way to go, good friend!

      • lambskinny says:

        Michael,
        That – your opinion of ANNIE DREAMING – is so gratifying. THANK YOU so much! I’ve had several people say they love it, but only 1 person has reviewed it so far.
        I am so hoping to gain exposure for these two works – I loved writing them; and I love reading them, too!
        Many blessings and I look forward to your review.
        Yay!
        Carley

  3. mtsweat says:

    A really good take on the term “Holy” and its Scriptural application is found here, at http://cindylivingstoneministries.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/holiness-2/

  4. Holiness is a Person . . . great thought! That helps me today.

  5. Wayne Augden says:

    Excellent writing and very thoughtful presentation. Praising God for His work through you.

  6. ccragamuffin says:

    Thought provoking. I will have to revisit. The picture of Jesus as our holiness draws my mind to I Peter 1: 16…Be ye holy, for I am holy. Eugene Peterson paraphrased I Peter 1:13-16…”So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”” Don’t be lazy…And…Let yourself be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life. He is pulling us (grace) into the shape He wants…holy as He is holy. And there is the rub for me. My stubbornness, my laziness, my spiritual ADD…resist the pull. Pretty much me. When “I” get out of my own way…when I stop holding onto unholiness…then will I be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life? For it is His work altogether. It is Holiness who works in me both to give me the will and the ability. Phil 2:13. Thought provoking. I will have to revisit.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks cc! Some really good stuff you bring to the table. Would love a revisit on these thoughts. I of course borrow the thoughts of our pastor here (in the post), but I think it’s a fascinating thought that our responsibility is as simple as pursuing Jesus. It appears with that single effort, everything else falls into place. Truth be known, it is very difficult to define the term “holy.” In service we heard words like “perfect,” “set apart,” and a host of descriptive (s) as such, but try to substitute any of them in to Isaiah’s vision, Imagine the angels crying out, “set apart, set apart, set apart!” But if Jesus is the perfect embodiment of holiness, then by being in Him, we have indeed had holiness accredited to our account. What is at hand, I believe, is getting that holiness into our lives. I think that only comes through the Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we strive to allow God to change us into the image of His Son. More, and not less, we do what Jesus did. Paul said, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” In the end it is summed up of course with “Love God and love my neighbor.” Blessings good friend.

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