30.6.11

The (Very) Beginning of Holiness

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24a)

The more light in my life the more exposed I am. The more the truth remains in me, the easier it is to see how many lies I have bought into. The longer I look towards Jesus the truer I see myself in the mirror. The longer I look at my own self-righteousness reflection the more disdain I have for what I see. The more I hate me.

In a society that teaches tolerance religiously, self esteem like nirvana, and loving oneself as the highest order; hating myself is a hard pill to swallow. And the battle to be holy…is just that, a raging war.

Holiness is not learning to love your self. It has nothing to do with being comfortable with who you are or how God made you. It is not even about being happy. Or good.

I confess, I am far from holy.

In fact, I am deeply embarrassed at the depth of my own sinfulness; on the flipside I am passionate about not hiding it. My life is a daily testimony to the redemption my God offers. It is in the struggle to be holy and to love God that His light shines through me.

I can still remember well the guilty stains on my hands; the stains that were the evidence of my sinful nature. My sinful desires plague me still, only in death will there be freedom from sin. And yes, my sin may be small when compared to others, but the ripples reach just as wide.

I was bought at a price; but with no money. I have been cleansed but some days I do not feel very clean. I am not what I want, and all to often I am not sure of what I am even becoming.

And at the end of the day it all boils down to trust.

Trust God for salvation.
Trust God for holiness.
Trust God to obey…to go.
Trust God with my efforts.
Trust God with His glory.

Trust God, that He can even use me to bring glory to His name.

I am not holy, but I am wearing Christ’s holiness.
I am not good, but Christ was good for me; and it by His blood I am cleansed.

I am undeserving, perhaps even bratty at times. BUT the holiness I wear CANNOT be taken off; it has taken root in who I am. Like a tree where birds make their nests, Christ is at home in my heart. Christ is at home in the new creation of who I am.

I am a student of holiness and a disciple of the truth. A bearer of glory. A bringer of hope. A proclaimer of truth.

The more God takes root in my life the more holy I become. The more honestly I see myself the more thankful I am for the precious Son of God. Hating oneself is perhaps politically incorrect; BUT in truth it is the beginning of holiness.

I was such a terrible person that God had to die to give me holiness. How can I not hate what I was? How can my reaction to my own continued sin be anything but shame and embarrassment? And hatred. Our sin has caused so much pain. Our lives need the cleansing of Jesus’ love and the peace of His forgiveness.

I have peace because it is the fruit of forgiveness and hope because I have seen my life changed already. For the first time in life I am realizing the full weight of my sin, the absolute ugliness of who I was, and just how desperately I needed Him.

God is at home in who I am and who I am becoming; and I love Him. He rescued me from the miry pit, from the sin that so easy entangles, even from the flames. With no redeeming quality to claim for myself, he brought me redemption. 

In light of what I was brought out of, the pursuit of holiness becomes less about deeds and more about love. Less about me, more about the Father; my holiness in no way reflects me, it is the Father’s. My hatred for my old self does not reflect some sort of ill will towards God’s creation, but the strongest kind of gratitude for the new. The redeemed life. The hope of an eternal home.

Salvation is a story of the unlovable being loved. Praise God, that while we were yet horrible, terrible, wicked, good for nothing, sinners that Christ died and through the shedding of His blood brought the offer of salvation. A fight we could never win for ourselves has already been won by the Savior.

May God be brought glory as His children remember what they were; and learn to love God for who He is. 
  
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!
May the whole earth be filled with His glory!

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