Holiness Within

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord
(Hebrews 12:14, KJV)




The Perfect Soldier


Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.


Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier…


… Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers…


… But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness…


… But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor.


If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.


Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.


And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,


In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves: if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;


And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

(2 Timothy 2, KJV)

 

Jesus Christ Is the Ultimate Soldier


He accepted the call of our Father to be the blood sacrifice for the human race. Jesus understood His mission when He left His place of eternal royalty, peace, love, holiness and righteousness. His assignment was to live in an environment full of rebellion, self-righteousness, hatred, evil, anarchy, and division. Sounds like some of the countries our American soldiers are shipped to defend and fight! In essence, Jesus was shipped to another country to fight for our eternal life. The spirits that control the earth are in opposition to the order that is in Heaven, but Jesus accepted His calling to fulfill the will of our Father.


Jesus didn’t come to earth complaining about having to leave His comfortable throne or that He had to take on degrading earthly flesh to live among an inferior set of creatures. He didn’t even murmur and complain about how bad the food was; how the locals were ignorant and not worth His time or sacrifice; how transportation from city to city was inconvenient; that Gabriel and other messenger angels were not writing Him to keep Him posted on what He was happening in Heaven; and he didn’t even write letters (to anyone who would listen) that He was being treated unfair.


No doubt life on earth was dramatically different from His position and status in Heaven, but He stayed focused on the task at hand to save a lost and dying world. We too, as believers, have been called as soldiers and ambassadors to reconcile men back to God. Our duty calls for us to be in environments that are not comfortable, and are surrounded by darkness and sin of people who are spiritually separated from their Creator. Obviously, we would prefer a more “cushier” or pleasant assignment, but our comfort is not the purpose of our calling. When we consider the ultimate change of scenery Jesus accepted to come to earth, do we really have room to complain about our inconveniences? Foxes have holes, birds have nest, but the son of man didn’t have a place to rest His head (Luke 9:58). He stayed in constant prayer and communion with the Father, who provided everything He needed to finish His work.


The scripture to the left, is a wakeup call to our obligation at hand. We at HOLINESS WITHIN understand that you may not be in the best of circumstances, but that does not diminish the purpose of your life and calling. Your current situation can certainly be considered hell on earth, as Jesus could have compared earth to heaven. It doesn’t matter how you came to the place you are now, stand strong, push your complaints and agenda aside to stay focused on the work of your higher vocation. It’s easy to slip into the "woe is me” mindset, but know that God won’t put on you more than you can bear. He has put something so great inside your heart and spirit that the world can’t conquer or take away. You are made in His likeness and you possess His spirit of life. Allow the seeds of life through His Holy Spirit to blossom into the strength and courage you need to endure, resist, and ultimately overcome the darkness that surrounds you. The presence of the Holy Spirit gives the ability to see our fellow man as God sees them. Comfort and encourage them through their daily struggles by not exalting yourself over them as if you’ve done a much better job in this life than they have! Each of us need a little bit of help and reassurance to make it through situations every now and then, and we certainly wouldn’t want anyone leaning over us blasting hurtful or negative words. Please, let the love of God and heaven allow you to see everyone around you with compassion, then spread some of God’s hope and unity. Love is the weapon to win this battle here on earth. Not a sensual, worldly, or physical love. But a spiritual, holy, pure and just love that is learned by staying in close intimacy with the Father.


Before his repentance and conversion, Paul was a worser criminal that you could ever have been. He arranged for the imprisonment, torture, and murder of innumerable Christians. Nevertheless, God had a plan for his life. Paul was converted and went on to write letters of inspiration and exaltation to many people including communities where he had previously tormented and enslaved their citizens. Your sin and crime is no greater than his! We were all in some state of rebellion and anarchy to the King of Kings and Lord of All!


Recommit yourself to being the soldier dressed in the spiritual armour of Ephesians 6:13-20.  Understand that you may be in natural bonds by being in prison, but truly you are a servant of the Most High God with an anointing and commission to speak boldly in His love.  Your faith in the resurrection of Christ allows access to, and seals you in power and authority to crush the works of the devil and to bring everything into the submission of Christ (Luke 10:17-20).  Jesus suffered great humiliation throughout His life, torture, and death.  He is no longer on the cross, but ALIVE and well today!  Unfortunately, kids know more about Easter eggs than what Christ’s resurrection represents.   Easter rabbits, Easter egg hunts, giving up certain foods for lent, and getting new clothes for Easter Sunday are traditions of men, that have nothing to do with Jesus sacrificing His life.  You can dress in the finest clothes, starve yourself of your favorite food but still speak evil words of hatred, envy, or strife out of your mouth which were conceived in the heart.  The outside may look good, but the heart could continue to be wicked and evil.  The word never instructed us to do any of those things.  His only request is that we die spiritually to ourselves in order to have life in Him and ultimately eternal life with Him.  Can you accept this challenge today to be the best soldier you can be for the Lord?