Holiness Within

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


Your college graduation is in a week and your friends and family have made extensive preparations to attend. You’ve done all you think you should have done to earn a diploma. Yes, maybe you didn’t put forth your best effort, but you attended most classes, turned in most of your assignments and got decent grades in most of your classes. Nevertheless, you know you still deserve a diploma for the effort you did put forth. The college counselor advised that fees have accumulated over the past few years for parking citations, student medical visits, miscellaneous dorm cleaning, and intramural sports participation. Surely (you think) they will not hold your diploma for a few unpaid expenses. You’ve done the course work to qualify for the diploma and you just don’t want to pay the fees since you’ve given the university thousands of dollars over the years in fees and expenses. Encouraged by your own mind, you order your cap and gown and continue your plans to receive your diploma onstage with everyone else. Graduation day finally arrives and you’re all dressed out and ready to line up with your fellow graduates, but your name is not on the line up list! 


“What?!!! Check again, ma’am.”


“No, son, the records say you still have unpaid fees, so no diploma can be issued.” 


Embarrassed and devastated you drop your head and walk away as you notice your classmates whispering and glaring at you. This great day of promotion you’ve waited for many years is now ruined. No graduation celebration for you and your family this day.


It is so very easy to comprehend if you don’t completely follow the rules, you can be stripped of awards and honors that have been bestowed upon you. The church world, being the bride of Christ, should also realize that God has standards to qualify for rewards and His word is faithful and true. There are many opinions whether legendary football coach Joe Paterno should have been stripped of his accolades and statue; whether cyclist Lance Armstrong’s titles should be disregarded; or whether track star Marion Jones and other Olympic medalists should be defrocked. But one thing for sure, there is no opinion when God speaks because His word is true…holiness without, no man shall see the Lord.


Welcome into your personal journey of Holiness Within.





Fred Hammond, Show Me Your Face


What does it mean to be Holy?

 


To be holy, simply means to be set apart for sacred use.

 

Holiness... 

is devotion and dedication of heart, mind, soul to a deity; 

 


Holiness...

is a lifestyle and behavior of obedience to the laws and statutes of God;


Holiness...

includes humble service and commitment to the will and plan of God;


Holiness...

means to be righteous, or in right standing with God;


Holiness...

is not a group project or physical rituals, but a one-on-one intimacy with God.




...For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s...

(1 Corinthians 6:15-20)





… BE YE HOLY; 

FOR I AM HOLY.

(1 Peter 1:15-16)




Holiness is a way of living, a lifestyle, not a fashion style.  Wearing a preacher's collar, a religious habit (long flowing robe), a veil/hijab, or taking vows of celibacy do not define holiness.  

~~~~~~

Some denominations require members to dress the part to appear holy, but inwardly they have behavior patterns consistent with substance abuse, adultery, pedophilia,

or alcoholism


There are also sins of the heart in those who "dress" the part that aren't easily seen, like:


 * doubt


 * pride


 * fear, night mares/terror


 * masturbation (which is self sexual gratification) 


* witchcraft and/or sorcery (which is controlling or manipulating others for personal gain)


* obsession, deception


 * and even unbelief  (without faith it is impossible to please God)



 



Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, 

and that your fruit should remain:…

(John 15:16)



Holiness is God’s essence or fragrance that’s in people who have been chosen and set aside by God for His sacred use. They have been set aside, dedicated, and consecrated to fulfill God’s plans on earth. They are devoted to a higher purpose in life than to just exist and then die. To be holy means that you are free from sin; that you are spiritually mature in the things of God; and that you are pure of integrity of moral character.


Simply put, holiness is the degree of surrender you’ve given to God. But how can the world fear God, if the Church doesn’t surrender to God’s will or even fear God? It may seem that it is an impossible task to be and remain holy with all the fun activities and temptations of life. However, it is possible to resist temptations and sin while still enjoying life to the fullest! It is only through accepting Jesus’ sacrificing of His body and blood that enjoyment can be fulfilled. Exotic vacations, cars, homes, money, or titles of status of this world cannot provide the peace and joy that is found living holy in Christ Jesus. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly, but it is only through Him that this can be achieved. No one is perfect, which is why repentance is so important. 1 John 1:9 says if we should sin, we have Jesus who steps in on our behalf to appeal to the Father who is faithful and just to forgive us of sin. Repentance is acknowledging error to God and making an effort to change our mindset and attitude to prevent the same behavior pattern. It’s ok to repent for the same thing more than once, because there is a learning process to replace sinful habits. So don’t beat yourself up when you find yourself having to repent for the same thing more than once. 


However, be truthful with yourself that if you are still repenting for the same thing for years, there definitely may be a seed of rebellion and pride preventing you from changing your ways. Keep pressing with intentional words of love and compassion to others; sanitize the things you listen to and read; meditate on the Word; and saturate your spirit with soul cleansing worship (not just “gospel” or “Christian” music which contain worldly rhythms and beats and may or may not mention the name of Jesus). It’s surprising how many “Christian” artists replace “Jesus” or “God The Father” with the word “him” in their songs. Sometimes you can’t tell if songs are referring to a worldly lover that you’re infatuated with or missing because he hasn’t returned your call. True worship is very specific in crying out before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Lukewarm “Christian” artists want to be like Top 40 artists with all the fame and popularity of the current music idols. Many of them do not understand they have purpose, an anointing and calling upon them to produce true worship. Those gifts and talents were given to lead the masses into unselfish, humble submission to God in the form of praise and worship. Record labels and managers are only interested in making money not bringing glory to the Father. Their music “sounds” good and makes the flesh jump around and feel good. But there is a closeness to God and a holiness that the soul desires that their music cannot heal or minister to. The soul cries out to go deeper into the presence of God. Something within you knows there’s “gotta be more” and there truly is more than what can be experienced on the surface and in the flesh. When you experience divine praise and worship, your spirit will notice how the works of the flesh of Galatians 5 will be broken and replaced by the fruit of the spirit of the same chapter!


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