Mankind is caught in a place that offers little for those who look at long term investments. We are born with a nature that has a sincere desire to be satisfied in many different ways. And that satisfaction is always fleeting and lasts for a very short time. Our flesh craves and lusts for many different things in order that our senses would be heightened and excited. And I am speaking of all our senses for that is what seeks gratification. Those lusts, those cravings can take many different forms and all of them or any one of them can be such a controlling force that we may find ourselves disabled, unable to function if we do not satisfy that to which our flesh is directing us. We may have a lust for power, we may have an ungodly appetite for chocolate, our driving force may be money and how we can get more, or our lusts could be for sexual things. Human nature is a booger.
And that is what Jesus is telling us to overcome.
Now it may seem to you, as it did to me, that this is a really cruel joke. Make us with desires and cravings and then tell us not to use any of our senses to the detriment of our relationship with the creator, the One who installed the equipment. Well, although it may seem cruel, it’s really quite ingenious. It’s almost as though it had been designed by Someone with a higher intelligence. You see the plan is for we, the created, to live in what God terms holiness. And although it may, at first, seem like a trick to make us bow down before a more powerful being, to be subservient before Him, it is quite the opposite.
You see, if God had made us only to bow down before Him, to be subservient to Him then He certainly should be considered cruel. Because those are the actions of someone who is really cruel. But I know that God is not really cruel. But if God is the creator and designed these things, these desires into our DNA, then how can I not describe Him as cruel?
John says that He is love, and in every single encounter I have had with Him and in every instance that I have seen another person encounter Him, I have seen and experienced nothing but love from the heart of God, and so I know that there is no cruelty in Him. God’s desire is for all who desire to come to Him to be able to do exactly that. But that is the point. We must come…..all the way. We cannot come part way. There are no 80 percenters in the Kingdom of God. There are not even 90 or 99 percenters. What one brings may not be a large portion, it may be not found even worthy in some circles, but if it comes from a pure heart then it is all that God wants, and trust me, He wants all of it. 100 percent of all you have, even if you, yourself consider it worthless, you must give it to Him, holding nothing back.
And although the cost may seem high, the rewards are so worth it. And they are immediate. I am certainly not speaking of material rewards, for if you chase God for material gain, in this life or the next, then you are chasing the wrong God.
The theme for this series is taken from this verse. Hebrews 12:14-15
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Holiness is something that is not, does not and will not be found within our human nature. It is beyond not only our ability to not only own it, but beyond our ability to even comprehend what it is. And here’s the kicker. It’s required.
So here we are, beings who have been instructed to not use the things that are the most common, the most pleasurable, the most satisfying and instead strive to be something we cannot be because we are unable to even understand what it is that God desires we become. And they said Shakespeare was a master of irony.
So how do we do it? How do we discover holiness in our own lives. How do we know how to be and what is expected from us?
Well, it’s another one of those things that are easily spoken but difficult to do. Like saying I’m going to climb Mt. Everest. Just rolls off your tongue, but it’s going to take some training. You see holiness has everything to do with your heart. Nothing else matters. So we must retrain our hearts. It’s possible, but it will take some effort. It will take some rearranging of what we have always taken for granted. Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord, is a spiritual endeavor that occurs inside a physical plane.
We must first admit to ourselves that the most important thing we can have in our lives is God. That is absolutely mandatory if we seek holiness. We must view our knowledge of Him, no matter how vast or how infinitesimal that knowledge may be, and whether it is real or perceived and we must make the discovery that all we know of God can, by comparison to how much there is to discover of Him, fit on head of a pin in comparison to Whom He really is. We may live with Him for an eternity and still not fully grasp His total glory. That is the God we serve and there is only one. Next post: the reset..