I am not a very holy person. I may have moments where I am in the vicinity of holiness but they seem few and fleeting. I rely heavily on the miracle of Grace in my life! But holiness still calls.
I am reading a book right now called "66 Love Letters" by Larry Crabb. In it he breaks down each book of the bible to show us how God is calling us into relationship with him. And not just any relationship. A relationship beyond any we have ever experienced before and won't be able to fully appreciate until we enter heaven's gate.
The first three books of the bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus) tell us of how "we have failed and He succeeds". God set out requirements for living and we just messed things up. God set out the 10 commandments and then added more rules to how the Hebrew people were to conduct their everyday lives...right down to how they were to wash their utensils. He left nothing out. Then He set out rules for sacrifices to be made because the people couldn't keep the first set of rules.
I know from a theological standpoint that all these laws were set in place to show people that we COULDN'T meet God's Righteous requirments and that we would require a Saviour to be the Final Sacrifice.
And somewhere in all of this, I am invited into intimacy with a Holy God through the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Me. Self-centered, unfaithful, complaining spirited, just to name a few, ME. And there is the rub. The closer I get to God the more aware I am of my failings. I know that He loves me and that He has imputed Christ's Righteousness onto me. But as I enter deeper into intimacy with Him, I become painfully aware of the area's in my life that are not in line with His Holiness. I know that His Grace was costly to the Father, allowing His son to die in my place. Isn't it the very least I can do to pursue holiness with a little more energy and passion?
But that can be very demoralizing if I let it. I will continually hit up against a standard that I can never never meet. And that makes me feel like crap. Sorry, but it does. I don't measure up. How can I have a real relationship with a Holy God if I can't even be "good enough" to live as if I am thankful for the Grace He has offered me? (Can't you just hear Satan laughing at this point?)
I am still groping in the dark in this area of my life. I want to live a life worthy of the calling of Jesus Christ. But I am not worthy. He knew that - God did, I mean. He stands in the gap for me. His Grace covers my past sin and my current sinful state. Every day He calls me to enter into His Throne Room of Grace and I still tend to want to cower in the corner. But if I approach boldly, I will find a God willing and ready to accept me as I am and yet somehow also inspire me to be better than I am - and offer His spirit to do the work for me. I still don't understand. I know that it is by the Blood of the Lamb that I am able to do so but I don't think I completely appreciate the fullness of the Power.
I have heard this feeling described as the great tension of the Gospel. What we are, what we ought to be, how God sees us today and how we will be at the end of things.
I will continue to trust in the Saving Power of Jesus Christ. I will continue to pursue holiness and allow the Spirit of God to work in me to make me more like Jesus.
I'll let you know how it goes...
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