Thursday, April 11, 2013

Live Holy, Do Not Compromise.

Living "holy" is a tough topic to talk about, but it has been burning in me since the day I got saved. 

I heard David Pawson say once that, "when you bring the Gospel to criminals in jail, the 'God of Love and Forgiveness' is not the Gospel that preaches well. It is God's judgement, mercy, and righteousness that attracts the sinner to repentance." 

Isn't that interesting? Yes, God is "Love", but He has many faces, and His name is also "Holy".

Demystifying "Holiness"

I have learned over the last 19 years as a believer that holiness begins in the heart attitude. Some people try to change what is on the outward appearance, and that’s good, I mean like quitting bad habits and stuff. But you can only be as “holy” as your heart is.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8

I have watched myself and others try to change the outward man, and it doesn’t work. The change has to happen in the heart first, and then the outward stuff will work itself out.

Holiness begins in the mind.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The transformation begins in the mind. The way we think determines what we do. It is the way of thinking in a culture that drives it’s values and actions. For example, you may be familiar with the sacred cow of India. Many people, not even Hindu, may revere the cow without even knowing the full history of why it is sacred. The culture has been deeply ingrained for centuries in the minds of the people. It would be hard for many to even eat beef, though they may be distant from the personal belief or culture, it is a part of their way of thinking. 

If holiness begins in the mind (heart, mind, will = inner man) than true worship is not the outward expression, but the inward giving of thanks, praise, blessing, etc. Think about that for a moment. Are we blessing God with our thoughts? With our intentions? With our motives? With our emotions? What if we practiced silent worship in corporate prayer gatherings? What if we worshiped God silently from the inner man as a regular discipline? 

What type of thoughts roll over in your mind? To dos? Worries and fears? Circumstantial problems? The hardest thing for me is I rarely feel my mind actually rest. Even when I am asleep I dream constantly. I have trouble just not thinking.

Putting it into practice.

So I have begun an experiment where I try to condition my mind by thinking worship, which is: praise, blessing, and thanksgiving towards the Lord repetitively in my mind. When a negative thought comes in, for example lets say, "Gina, you really suck, you need to just give up on this area". What I do is I turn it around into worship and thanksgiving. 

I picture Jesus on the throne, I kneel before His Lordship over me and I think in my mind, "Jesus, You alone know all things. You know how and why I struggle, I submit this challenge to You  my Lord right now. Thank You for putting challenges in my life to strengthen me. I know that if I never had any challenges I would be dull and bored. Thank You for Your wisdom You are sending my way to accomplish this task. You are so faithful, I lean into Your faithfulness right now. Thank You for strengthening my heart in the midst of my weakness. I trust in Your strength."

A holy heart attracts God. And getting closer to God, getting to know Him more, will only convince my heart that He indeed is good, and no good  thing will He withhold. (Psalm 84:11) Holiness is not about sacrificing the "pleasures" of life to be bored with a 'boring God'. Leaning into His goodness, His holiness will only produce the very best, superior pleasures in our lives.

The truth is I can never be holy enough, but the REAL question is, how close to the man named “Holy” can I get.

How far will He let me go? How abandoned will He let me be?


  1. Enjoyed the post and I enjoyed your teaching on this Friday Night. The truth is, lasting holiness from intimacy not conformity. Conforming to something will always feel forced and it seldom lasts. Get close to the Lord and holiness becomes natural as He empowers us by His love in intimate relationship with Him.

    1. I agree, holiness comes from relationship & intimacy. It can not be duplicated by religion!