Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.Leviticus 19:2
God is desiring holiness. He is desiring that we pursue holiness like never before.
Holiness is putting away the old self and putting on the new. Sacrificing your will and your desires for the kingdom of God.
It is a work of gradual development. It requires discipline.
Its like climbing a mountain. The higher you go up the mountain, the farther you get away from the world. The farther away you become from the world, the more beautiful the view.
The more you pursue holiness, the deeper you will grow in the Lord. It will cause you to become more set apart from the world and the view is just more beautiful.
It means to be consecrated. Be dedicated to God. Be single mindedly loyal to God. That means you don’t allow distractions to come in the way of your loyalty and your faithfulness to God.
Now listen to this. I love this verse. There is so much peace and love. And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.Leviticus 20:26
God has separated you from the world to be His. We are holy to Him. We are set apart for Him because we belong to Him.
I want that. I want people to know that I belong to God. I don’t ever want to leave God’s love and His arms to go blend back in with the world.
Holiness is the key to enjoying the presence of God.
Why holiness is important
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:Hebrews 12:14
If you don’t have holiness, you will not see God.
He did not die so that we could keep living in sin but so we could live holy lives.
If we do not pursue holiness then His death was in vain.
What kind of witness are we if we come in and give God everything we got during service and worship Him like never before but we go right back to our sins that God delivered us from?
People who don’t believe in God are not going to believe in Him based on the way you live if you are living in sin. That kind of living shows people that you just like the title of being a Christian.
But when we truly give God everything in worship and then leave and live the exact same way, that’s when you are set apart and people notice and say “there’s something different about that guy”.
Holiness is a great tool for witnessing. People notice you when you are set apart.
Holiness will also protect you.
Psalms 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
God will not let His holy people see corruption. He will not leave you in Hell. He will not leave you to go through your troubles alone.
For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
I know that was in the old testament but I like to think of it as the camp is my body. I need to keep myself holy or the holy ghost might leave. But when you keep it clean and holy, God is in the midst of you. He is there to deliver you and defeat your enemies.
When you set yourself apart, you tell your enemies that you have something greater than them that they cannot conquer or defeat.
The poison dart frog stands out by it’s beautiful colors. But this frog has enough poison in him that he can kill 10 grown men. Their bright colors are a warning sign to its predators. The colors tell predators that if you eat me, you’re probably gonna die. If a predator simply licks a dart frog, it can cause very serious swelling in their mouths and throats, nausea, and paralyzed muscles.
What i’m saying is this frog is so tiny. It is about the same size as your thumb nail and yet he is set apart from all other frogs and he has that much power. We have this same power with holiness when we are set apart. The devil sees that we are set apart and our holiness tells him that if you mess with me, you’re going to die. You will not win if you come against me.
Holiness is pretty important to God. He says be ye holy for I am holy in Leviticus 11:44, 11:45, 19:2, 20:26, And 1 Peter 1:16. He would not say be ye holy for I am holy that many times if it wasn’t that big of a deal to Him.
You are called to holiness. You are called to stand out. We all have a calling and holiness is apart of that calling. It is a constant pursuing battle.
Think of the game tag.
I watch the schoolagers play it at the daycare. Whoever is it will go after the slowest person so
naturally this person strives to be on base because when you’re on base, you cant be tagged, you are safe but these kids don’t always play fair. I will watch the child who is not very fast approach base and then someone will shout that base is moved! This child then has no idea where base is, they get tired, they get frustrated, they give up, and they are tagged.
I think that’s the problem with some in the church. They are running and running but running aimlessly and not pursuing anything.
You can run from this world all you want but if you don’t have something to pursue then this world will catch up to you. You will get tired and you will give up.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,Hebrews 6:1
Perfection is maturity. The maturity in an adult is different than the maturity of a 5 year old. But there are some who have been in church 10, 20, 30 years who are still spiritually mature as if they have only been in church for a year.
We must strive to pursue, grow deeper in the Lord. It will set us apart and will send blessings our way.
Pursuing holiness starts when you put your faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross.
You believe it, you love it, you want as much of it as you can possibly get.
So you go on to perfection through sacrifice.
You read, pray, worship, and daily repentence.
Holiness requires that you sacrifice your time, your worship, your giving, you food, your self, everything.
A few things to do to pursue holiness…
1.) Sacrifice your time by spending time in the word. Spend some extra time than you normally do in the word.
Spending time in the word will sanctify us.
Jesus prayed “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”John 17:17
Paul talked about the church, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”Ephesians 5:26
When we dig into the word, it cleanses us. It separates us. God’s word empowers us, strengthens us, teaches us, guides us. It is an important step to holiness.
2.)We also need to yield to the spirit when He is directing us.
When we feel the holy ghost convict us, we need to yield to it. It is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
If you feel led to go pray for someone, then do it. If you feel led to give someone a scripture, do it. If you feel led to do anything that will help you grow spiritually, then do it. It is simple things like that, that will bring you closer to the Lord.
When we yeild to the spirit, it will bring forth fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance all come from following the spirit and not fleshy desires.
3.) We need to pray.
Prayer opens the door for the kingdom to come down into our situations.
There are angels that collect your prayers and take them to the Lord. Our prayers move the kingdom of God.
If you are not reading or praying or yielding to the spirit, then the devil loves you. He thinks of you as his buddy because you are not really giving God anything..
But I don’t want the devil to like me. I want the devil to hate me. I want him to see me and realize he can’t win when it comes to me. I want him to know that I fear the Lord way way more than I could ever fear him.
4.) Holiness requires that you take up your cross and follow Jesus.
Your cross is your commitment to Jesus to live holy.
You have committed to God that you want your life to be for Him and only Him.
This cross you carry is to help you remember what Jesus did for you.
When you come to a door that your cross doesn’t fit through, you can joyfully go past it because you can look at the cross you carry and think about the sacrifice that was made for you so you wouldn’t have to go through those doors any longer.
The cross you carry is a blessing. Think of it as if you bought an expensive dress or an expensive suit and you left the price tag on it. When you want to go jump in a mid pit, you can look at the price tag to remind yourself how much you paid for it. That playing in the mud pit isn’t worth the price you paid for it.
Think of it this way. God has cleansed us by His blood. He has set us apart by placing us on a narrow path.
Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life but broad and wide is the road that leads to destruction and so many people go down it that road.
This narrow road might get difficult sometimes but you are so blessed to be on it. It is the only road that will lead to life and few there be that find it. Not very many go down the narrow road. But you have found it. God has placed you on that road. You are so blessed.
You are set apart and you are on this road but you also have this huge cross on your shoulders.
The cool thing is that this cross you carry, if you are carrying it on your shoulders and the bottom is dragging the floor and you look down on yourself from a bird’s eye view, the cross resembles a straight line. As long as you carry your cross and pursue holiness then you and your cross will always fit on the narrow road.
But once you lay down your cross, it no longer resembles a straight line from a bird’s eye view but now resembles a “t” and it no longer fits on the narrow path God has placed you on.
We cannot give up. We cannot just quit and put our crosses down. We cannot just go back to our sins. We need to keep pressing forward.
When we start to pursue holiness, it will not get easier. You will conquer a battle and the devil will see that it didn’t work so he will come in harder with a harder battle.
But don’t give up. As you walk the narrow road will get more and more narrow but don’t give up. Don’t put your cross down. God has given you all power in heaven to defeat all battles that come against you.
I want to give God everything I have. I want to make sacrifices that will cause me to grow in Him like never before, that will cause me to be holy.
I don’t want my sacrifices to be sacrificing my cross and my eternal reward. I want to sacrifice my time, my self, my worship and praise. I want to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord.