I’ve not written here yet although I’m an avid reader of what the rest of my family has to say. Oh, my profile picture might have popped up as I told you of the fun some friends and I had while dressing up a few weeks back, but really, that’s not writing. That was merely appeasing my family and the rest of our audience by showing that I’m here, but not having to do too much to accomplish that.
But I can’t ignore the fact that our recent topic caught my attention because it’s something that I’m currently sorting through. I’m 20. I’ve spent my life surrounded by Christianity, thankful that I was spared the heartache of wasting some of my years on complete worldliness; but I find that even at a young age, I’ve slipped into a complacency in my walk that I would only expect for those who had been serving a whole lifetime. My faith has become normal; I’m content with what I’ve learned and where I currently am.
But God is not. I’m a project, an ongoing project (“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6). There is always room for growth, for improvement, for stretching, for pushing me out of my comfort zone, for making me more radical. And I’m in one of those stages where that is what is happening.
So I find myself asking what a zealous life and a heart of fervent devotion is supposed to look like. How does that look when dealing with others? How does that look with the words that I speak? How does that look with how I conduct myself?
In the last few months I’ve been reevaluating my life wondering what areas have become stagnant, wondering what I can do that would dispose of more worldliness in my life, and what would make me more holy — more set apart — more different from the world. Because that’s what I want to be. I want to be different. I’ve thought enough to realize that I’m not content with my life looking like your average Joe Schmo next door. I’m a disciple of Christ, I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me — I’m supposed to be different!
It’s been a few months of pondering, thinking, and wondering. I can’t say that I’ve had any great revelations or have cemented any answers for you, but this is one thing I’ve realized: as Spurgeon said, “Holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness.”
There is something to be said for the experience Isaiah had with the Lord. God is holy. God is holiness. He is the definition. He is perfect. He is set apart. And I am not. When Isaiah saw the Lord in His glory he cried out, “Then said I, ‘Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, ‘Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.'” (Isaiah 6)
When you come to an understanding of how holy, how awesome, how pure the Almighty One is, you also come to an understanding of how opposite of all of that you are. It’s then that you see your heart for what it really is — the compromise, the hidden selfish motives, the sinful thoughts — and you are undone. It’s then that you fall to your knees, it’s then that repentance happens, and it’s then that the Lord comes and cleans. Repentance speaks of a turning away and turning away means that you say you’re done with that way of life, you’re done with that sin. It’s a desire to be more pure, it’s a desire to be more like our Heavenly Father, and it’s those steps that take us towards that goal — towards holiness and likeness of Him.
So here I am, trying to rid myself of my complacent Christianity, having been struck by the need to have an encounter with the Living God; I need a new revelation of who He really is. And He will bring me to holiness — for Christ is the way to holiness.