HOLINESS; IT IS A LIFESTYLE!!!
What does the word holiness mean to you? Often times as Christians when we hear the word holiness, we paint a picture of a certain group of people belonging to a certain type of church, wearing certain types of clothes and talking a certain way. When I was growing up and heard the word holiness, a picture was painted in my mind. A picture of older women who wore white dresses and cotton stockings. I am not saying that these people were not holy, but as I matured in Christ, I came to learn that holiness has nothing to do with wardrobe or appearance, but it does have everything to do with lifestyle.
Christ reminds us to be holy for He is holy. What does this mean? Clearly, this is a direct command for us to model our lives after the example that has been set before us since the foundation of the world. Holiness is simply separation. Not separation from the world, but separation from the way the world acts. In an effort to live a holy live, it means that we should be deliberate in being distinct from those who do not know Christ. Our God is different from all so-called other Gods, therefore we must live according to His will and give Him glory.
It was God’s original plan for his creation to be like Him. Because our father Adam fell, we must now strive to live a life that God intended for us to live from the beginning of time. We are living in a world that has been infiltrated and influenced by the rulers of darkness. It even seems that some of the rituals of the world has even crept into the church. As Christians we must wave the banner high which reads, “Holiness Is Still Right.”
Some would argue that the church has lost itself and that people have lost respect for the church because there seems to be no power. What we fail to realize is that we are the church and that we are not our own, but bought with a high price. We are like pilgrims traveling from a far land and we are to represent out homeland from whence we have come. It is not necessary for us to carry a big Bible so others can know who we represent, but people should be able to look at our lives and notice a distinct difference in who we are. Living a life of holiness will help us walk away from strongholds and will give us the power not having to look back.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that strongholds will not be present. Yes, we wrestle against the constant desires and lust of the old nature, but this is an internal struggle. I am reminded of the US Marine who once wrote, “Two natures beat within my breast, the one is cursed, the other is blessed. The one I love, the other I hate, the one I feed will dominate.” We must learn to hate the desires of the world and of our flesh and continue to feed and nourish our spirit man who will lead us down the path of righteousness and holiness.
Yes, the saints of old may have worn white dresses and cotton stockings, but they also knew what it meant to abstain from sin and live a life now of their own, but purchased by their redeemer. So, while holiness is not about outer appearance, it is about inner appearance. Ask yourself the question, what do people see when they look at what I am wearing (on the tables of my heart).