God has called us to live holy lives (1 Thess 4:7-8). Hebrews 12:14 B says, “work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord”. In his sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt 5:8). Apostle Paul tells Timothy that we are saved “to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” (2 Timothy 1:9).
God desires holiness in our lives, God commands holiness and God participates in our holiness (sanctification). We tend to have a truncated view of holiness that is legalistic, private, negative, and static. This is identified as what we “don’t do” which is a very self-absorbent orientation of holiness and is damaging. When we chase holiness in a “don’t do mode” we become terribly discouraged and our efforts fail. This effort is what we call self-sanctification. Many Christians are trapped at this place where the pursuit of holiness becomes this joyless, lifeless meandering through the trials of life.
We cannot separate or minimize the life of Jesus Christ (The indwelling Holy Spirit) from our desire for holiness. Genuine holiness is relational. It is an invitation into the life of Christ, a full in-breaking of the new creation (2 Cor 5:17). It is a life absorbed in Christ – our hearts, mind, goals, purposes, love, and hope are fully captivated by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is achieved by our daily submission of our lives to God (James 4:7). Folks, when you sit to pray, read the scripture, and meditate on God, do not settle for anything less than intimacy with God – Intimacy with God propels holiness, strongholds break, and our desire to sin disappears and all this happens organically.