A Study on the Pursuit of Holiness
Chasing after the holiness of God isn’t easy. No one ever said it would be but it is possible. Holy Spirit desires that we would live a holy life that pleases God, and we can, with His help.
We previously looked at Why You NEED to Desire More of God in Part 1 of this study and learned the answers to the questions of why, when and how to express our desire for more of God. We also ended the study in a beautiful worship time as we bowed before Him in song and adoration.
In Part 2, Here is the Ultimate Revelation of the Holiness of God, we discovered a vital piece to the holiness puzzle that we each need to acknowledge before we can proceed further. That revelation concerns our sin. Sin and holiness don’t mix and we need to come to terms with this.
Did You Know that Holiness is Not a Choice? is the third Part of this study and we had a bombshell dropped when we learned that holiness is not a choice for us. Let me show you in 1 Peter 1:15-16 where Peter quoted from Leviticus 11:44 when he said …be holy for I am holy. If you look closely at these words that God spoke to Moses and the Hebrew children, you will notice one word in particular which is not a choice. It’s the word “be”. In KJV, God said it as “…ye shall be holy; for I am holy…”. To me, this is clearly a demand from God. This doesn’t scream out that we have a choice in this.
Be Holy as He is Holy Pleases God
We have learned much about the pursuit of holiness of God, and in this study, we are going to take the 7 steps to living a holy life that pleases God. We live in a fallen world where sin abounds as we deal with our own sin on a daily basis.
Paul reminded the Roman believers in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We can no longer say that we are perfect, that we do not sin, that every day passed by sinless. Scripture tells us otherwise and in Romans 6:23 we know that sin earns us death but God, in His mercy and grace, has given each of us who believe, the gift of eternal life.
Does this mean that we cannot live a holy life that pleases God? No, it doesn’t. Here’s a quote from Jerry Bridges, in his book, Pursuit of Holiness, 1978:
Holiness is not a series of do’s and don’ts but conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God.
So, if holiness is obedience to the will of God as we conform ourselves to His character, how do we do that? Let’s take a look at the ways to pursue holiness.
Seek Help to Live a Holy Life that Pleases God
Since our desire is to seek more of God, we must realize that we cannot do this alone. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Teacher, Counselor and our Helper. The first thing we do is seek His help so we can live a holy life that pleases God.
There is a battle between our will and our flesh as we often do the things we shouldn’t do and the things we should do, we don’t do. Sounds like a paraphrase from Paul in Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. NASB.
Sin is a constant struggle but we do not have to battle it alone. Holy Spirit is here to help us.
7 Steps to Live a Holy Life that Pleases God
So, what are these steps? How do you live a holy life that pleases God?
It is vital that you acknowledge that God is holy and that you are a sinner. Holiness and sin do not mix and so you need to take the steps necessary to request for the barrier between you and God to be removed.
Repentance is the how the barrier is removed. When you repent of your sins, God extends His forgiveness and wipes the slate clean. You cannot overcome sin completely but you can have the barrier between you and God removed so that you can come in His presence.
Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen your inner being as Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:16. Paul finished his prayer in Ephesians 3:20, praying that God is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. You need the power of God in you to succeed in living in holiness. Without His power, you are attempting to do things in your own strength and you will fail.
Spend time in His presence in prayer. You can use the Powerful Breakthrough Prayer Verses to Pray the ACTS Way if you are not sure how to start. The ACTS Prayer Model will lead you from Adoration -> Confession -> Thanksgiving -> Supplication. This can be as short as 15 minutes to an hour or more as you are led by the Spirit.
Are you looking for His direction for your day? Meet with God daily, to be in His presence and to hear from Him as He directs your steps, Psalm 37:23.
5. Study the Word
Make time to be found in His Word. This is the only way you will get to know God. He reveals Himself through His Word more than any other way. So, study as often as you can.
6. Read the Word
Studying the Word and reading the Word are two different things. Studying is at a slower pace as you delve into the meaning of various passages. Reading the Word is just reading. Sure, you may read it slowly but you are not taking notes or digging out the cross-reference books to gain a deeper understanding.
7. Walk in Truth
As Paul and John taught the believers so often, we are to walk in truth and light of the Word of God. That means we need to know what it says. Studying the Word and reading it will help us with that. Walking in truth is obeying God’s Word, reading it, studying it, doing it. Simply put, do your best to be Christ-like in your words, deeds and responses.
I mentioned this before but I’d like to mention it again. The more often we meet with God and study His Word, our understanding of the Word and our faith in the Word will grow and we will learn to hate what God hates —> sin.
That’s a Wrap
There you have it, seven steps to living a holy life that pleases God. Looking at the list, it seems pretty easy, right? Words on a paper always seem easy. It’s the doing part that is hard. So many things distract us, interfere with our good intentions and sideline us. We know the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy and when you make the effort to be holy as He is holy, you can be sure satan will be coming after you.
BUT GOD…allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen you, to uphold you, to preserve you and to sustain you. You can do this with HIS help! You’re not alone in your walk.
This is the final part of our 4-part Study on the Holiness of God. You can read the related posts, scattered throughout this post or click the links below.
As always, I would love to hear from you in the comments. Stop by, say hi and let me know your thoughts on living a life that pleases God.