Called to be Holy
Called to be Holy
I remember the night so clearly. I was worn out, heartbroken and struggling to make the right decisions. I just needed to know what to do. I was too tired to figure it out. My teenage children were all in the bed so it was safe to fall apart, unravel a little. As I sobbed, my frustration grew. I just needed an answer. I needed God to speak to me. I grabbed my Bible and decided to give the holy dip a try. I opened it in haste and stuck my finger deep inside. There I found God’s exact and personal answer to me. If you knew my whole story, if you knew my decision and my prayer, this would blow your mind – just like it did mine. But then, you have your own story, don’t you? You, too, need to hear from God. You, too, need an answer. You need to know what to do. This might be God’s exact and personal answer to you as well. Here is what I began to read…
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” I Peter 1:13-16
As I read the scripture and the explanation of the words in my study Bible, the mud began to clear. We are called to be holy in our conduct - our thoughts, our actions. Why? Because Jesus is holy and we are to be like Him. God knew we could not do this alone, so He sent His Son. When we accept His Son – Jesus – we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit living in us. In 1 Peter 1:2 we learn that it takes sanctification to make us holy. Sanctification is an ongoing process whereby the Holy Spirit works within us, transforming us, separating us from our old ways and drawing us closer to God.
In The Message instead of “gird up the loins of your mind”, it says, “Roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready”. We are to do whatever it takes to focus our mind on walking in obedience to God. But here is a question - if we do not know what God’s Word says, how can we be obedient to it? Well, we can’t. So, we have to read and study and learn who God is before we can ever hope to be like Him. The more we come to know God, truly know God, the more we will understand what being holy is all about.
The command, “be sober” implies that we are to make sound judgements. We are to guard our hearts and our minds to make sure we are always thinking clearly and focused on serving God. The reason it is harder than it sounds is that a war has been waged against us. We are foreigners here fighting our way to our eternal home. We are commanded to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”. (1 Peter 2:11) You see, life is not a game. We are not here to be happy or to have our personal desires fulfilled. We are called to be holy. And in 1 Peter 1:17, we learn that we will stand before God and give an account for the way we have lived. But we live as if we don't believe this, as if it doesn't matter what we do. We know it is wrong to do bad things. But did you know that the Bible says in James 4:17 (TLB), “Knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.” So all Satan needs to do is distract us from doing what God is calling us to do. There are so many distractions. What does he use to distract you?
As we look back on our life we can see where we have conformed to our former lusts and given in to our personal desires. God says we did that in ignorance and I have to agree, don’t you? We are so foolish because most of us would agree that God’s way is always best, yet we keep choosing our own way.
We have been called to be holy. This is our goal, not only because God demanded it, but because it is a part of our identity as a Christian. Our conduct is to be pure. We do not belong to the world, we belong to our Heavenly Father and our home is in Heaven with Him. We are a part of a holy nation. And it is our honorable conduct, our holiness,our fruits of the spirit and our good works that will cause those who do not know Him to want to come to know Him. And that is what our purpose – our calling - is all about.
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