“Be holy, because I am holy.”
Our study in 1 Peter this week focused on the holiness of God and what it means to live holy lives: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
While wearing “steel-toed shoes” during my study time would have helped to prevent my spiritual “toes” from becoming battered and bruised, it was obvious the Lord had already taken the measurements and fitted me for a different type of shoe, better known as the “open-toed sandal”. You know the difference. One keeps the contents inside safe and protected while the other provides full exposure. One says “Ah…that didn’t hurt!” while the other screams “OUCH!” It was clear to me that my soul was in need of a little more “OUCH!” and a lot less “Ah!”
During prep time, I came across a classic by Jerry Bridges, “The Pursuit of Holiness” As I turned the pages I noticed the markings of an assiduous reader. Wait a minute! Those were the pages I had marked… almost twenty years ago. I recalled reading the book for the first time as a relatively new believer and how the tears flowed from a heart that was desperate to be more like Christ and less like me. I also recalled an insatiable desire to obey Him quickly and completely. No questions asked.
Once again I wept, but this time for a different reason. You see, I recognized that those same desires were still within me, but the desperation that had once been the catalyst for quick obedience now seemed a bit dulled with time. Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit identified areas in my life that were in desperate need of sharpening, such as:
- Reading, and in a sense, depending more on “good” books rather than the Word. (OUCH!)
- Allowing too much time for “busyness”and not enough for “being.” (OUCH!)
- Attempting to be more relevant for God rather than revering to God. (DOUBLE OUCH!)
So, while “steel-toed shoes” would have undoubtedly offered a more comfortable approach to this week’s lesson, I’m reminded that His desire for me is not comfort, but holiness, and rarely do the two concur.