There is a difficulty in understanding holiness. Most of us have unrealistic views of ourselves. These views are not likely to be so far from reality that they would cause us embarrassment…. Although they could. You may think of yourself as a great singer and your greatest desire is to record an album. You need $10,000 to record the album and you’re having a hard time raising the money, no one will tell you that it’s because you sound like a couple of cats having a fight in the alley. But they have heard you. Your mom keeps telling you that you sound like an angel, but no one will give you the money.
We must be our own worst critics when it comes to our spirituality. We must never think of ourselves as spiritually astute or spiritually mature when we consider the degree to which we have come when we contemplate our position in Christ. And as a matter of fact, if you do consider yourself to be spiritually mature, feeling as though growth is for everyone else, it is a prime indicator that you are very immature spiritually. We must learn to be honest with ourselves when looking at our spiritual condition.
It’s just like looking in the mirror and seeing this, a beautiful young lady, when in reality you are this. If you find it difficult to see yourself honestly physically then it will be doubly hard to see your spiritual reality. But even if you don’t know or understand your spiritual reality, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t understand where you are spiritually. He does. And He wants us to ask Him to open the door to the knowledge of who we are in Christ.
There are many indicators to assist us in how we can determine where we are spiritually, and if we are serious about discovering where we are we will certainly seek the wonderful wisdom as well as comfort found only in the hope of Christ. But in that seeking it is not just a hope for which we must search, but truth. For if we hope for something that turns out to be false, a lie, then we may find ourselves in a place that is not so very much like that for which we wanted to hope. We owe it to ourselves to discover truth. And once that truth is discovered, then we owe it to ourselves to act on it, to expand on it and discover everything we can about it. Jesus claimed in John 14:6 that He is truth. And I know from my own experience, if anyone truly seeks Him, they will discover that truth as well.
But He told us several things that we must be, if we are to receive Him and enter into a reward in the Kingdom of Heaven. We must be born again. We must repent, but this is my favorite and it’s probably the least advertised. Matthew 18:2-4
2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Now, perhaps the reason Jesus brought this child to stand in the midst of His disciples is because the disciples were discussing who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Putting the child in the midst of them He answered the question, but He even brought more to their understanding, for he said that unless they convert and become like little children they can’t even enter into the kingdom.
What did He mean convert, though? He was speaking to His disciples. Weren’t they already converted? The word here is the Greek word strepho which means to literally turn around and go the other direction. (you thought that was repent, didn’t you? That’s the word metanoeo) Well, the implication is to turn around and not take being an adult so seriously. Children have two things that are sometimes lost on us as we grow older.
Joy and as Jesus mentions here, humility. I pretty much discuss joy thoroughly, and all the time, but humility is something I want to discuss right now. How is a child humble? What is it in a child that makes Jesus say that unless you become like one, you can’t even cross the threshold in heaven? It is extremely important that we understand this point.
When one speaks of humility, a child may or may not be the first thing that pops into your mind. But there is an innocence that is exhibited by children that is endearing and that innocence will give birth to humility. What I mean by that is that innocence expects nothing but receives with great joy those things that are given as an end to their hope.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
You probably recognize that as being from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and in this letter Paul was speaking of love, But love is born in innocence just as innocence comes from love. Having the precious childlike qualities of which Paul spoke here is to be totally immersed in God. It is to be holy.
If we understand that we deserve nothing, yet as our Master has told us there is reward for believing in Him, which is evidenced by our staying in His presence and keeping ourselves pure for Him, the hope that is born from such a promise outweighs the reward gained from this world should we deny our Master and run toward the things of the world.
God’s desire is always for us, to help us to live in His light, which is to live in holiness. Armed with this knowledge, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to conquer all the darkness that comes into our lives, no matter the thing that plagues us. We will arise victorious and will overcome in every situation. For in holiness is found the mind of Christ and we know that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the wold.