“The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges is doing a number on me. I read it and am driven to tears at the deeper realization of my own lack of holiness, at the deeper realization of my sinfulness and how short I fall of the glory of God. Tonight, I read chapter 4 on the holiness of Christ. In it, I read so much that made me squirm uncomfortably on the living room couch, things such as:
Our thoughts should be holy, since they are known to God even before they are formed in our minds.
His (Christ’s) moral purity serves to magnify our impurity.
Clearly then, the sinless holy life of Jesus Christ is meant to be an example for us. Consider then His statement, “I always do what pleases Him.” Do we dare take that as our personal goal in life? Are we truly willing to scrutinize all our activities, all our goals and plans, and all of our impulsive actions in the light of this statement: “I am doing this to please God”?
If we ask that question honestly, we will begin to squirm a bit. We know we do some things, good things in themselves, to gain admiration for ourselves rather than glory for God. We do other things strictly for our own pleasure, without any regard for glory of God.
How do we view those who do not show love for us? Do we see them as persons for whom Christ died or as persons who make our lives difficult?
Neither does holiness mean, as is so often thought, adherence to a list of “do’s and don’ts,” mostly don’ts. When Christ came into the world, He said, “I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). This is the example we are to follow. In all of our thoughs, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motivates and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father. This is the high road we must follow in the pursuit of holiness.
This book is dismantling me. Since I have started reading it, the Lord has been gracious. Overall, He has been MOST gracious! These past few weeks have been great! Due to 2 people being in my life, a brother and a sister, the Lord has ignited this crazy passion within me. Both the brother and sister have been true examples of Proverbs 27:17 and Hebrews 10:24:
Proverbs 27:17 ESV
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Hebrews 10:24 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…
The brother, a good friend of mine, has this ridiculous passion for the Lord that is clearly heard and seen. I remember he said once, “If it’s not about the Lord, I don’t see a need to talk about it.” His desire to have the Lord supreme in every area of his life is admirable and I love seeing that. The sister always encourages me to to handle all things through Scripture. Last Saturday, I was feeling a particular way about a particular situation. She rebuked me and showed me I was being anxious and challenged me to go through God’s Word to see what it says about how I was feeling. Although at the time I just wanted to feel the way I felt, I am grateful that she wasn’t having that. I love them both and am grateful for the blessing that they have both been in my life. I love them dearly!
So, holiness… reading about it has been throwing me, but by God’s grace, He has me in a place where this is perfect timing in so many ways!
Psalm 84:12 ESV
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!