Climb Higher: The Pursuit of Holiness
Read 2 Corinthians 7:1-4
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. Make room in your hearts[b]for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
- Exactly what does it mean to be holy?
- How do we become holy?
- Why is holiness important?
Holiness. It's one of those words that conjures up images of uptight church ladies in floral dresses. It even brings to mind a long list of rigid, narrow-minded rules that are out of touch with reality--not to mention completely out of reach. Yet consider this: Scripture says, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). The truth is, no one is born holy--and none of us can fake it by acting holy or thinking holy thoughts. We can't even pursue holiness unless God stirs that desire in their life. So, what's a weak, imperfect Christian to do?
Popular author Oswald Chambers also wrestled with this question. In his book, My Utmost for His Highest, he writes: "If Jesus Christ is going to regenerate me, what is the problem He faces? It is simply this--I have a heredity in which I had no say or decision; I am not holy, nor am I likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is tell me that I must be holy, His teaching only causes me to despair. But if Jesus Christ is truly a regenerator, someone who can put His own heredity of holiness into me, then I can begin to see what He means when He says that I have to be holy."
Lord, help me to be holy. I can't do it on my own. Stir the desire in my heart and guide my thoughts, steps, and actions. Amen.