This morning I read a short article by Chuck Colson in which he trumpeted a call for the North American church to repent. He noted that many believers are wringing their hands at the state of current affairs. He says we’re blaming the liberals, the gays, and the pro-abortionists when, in reality, we ought to be looking in the mirror. He says we’ve tried so hard to fit in with our neighbors and our society that we’re no longer salt and light, and it’s time to turn things around.
Sadly, Colson’s insights are nothing new. Ezekiel bore the same message a long, long time ago. He called God’s people to forsake their idols, to stop intermarrying, to refuse anything ceremonially unclean. He called for them to live in holiness and to establish their laws based on God’s regulations (Ezekiel 44, 45).
The essence of Colson’s message to believers today is much the same. Repent—change one’s thinking, make a U-turn, and walk in God’s ways. In day to day living, here’s what that looks like:
- Forsake idols—anything that’s robbing from God the love He deserves. (ie: Money, our home and furniture, our job, physical appearance, a relationship, even ministry.)
- Fill our minds with what’s pure and holy. Say no to movies, magazines and books that cause us to fantasize and lust. Say no to entertainment that promotes violence.
- Remain faithful to one’s spouse. Run from temptation! No “innocent” flirting or emotional affairs.
- Seek to control the tongue. No backbiting, no gossip, no yelling, no lies. Speak the truth in love. Speak words that encourage and promote life.
- Love others unconditionally. Yikes! That one seems a little much, don’t you think? Sorry. No excuses.
- Exercise integrity. Keep your promises. Be a person who’s trustworthy at all times.
These are just a few examples of how God expects His kids to live in today’s world. We’re to live this way not because we get eternal Brownie points for being good but because God is holy and we’re to reflect Him. We’re to live above compromise and to shine as lights in the darkness around us.
Thankfully He doesn’t expect us to accomplish this on our own. As we walk in a love relationship with Him, He works in us to make us holy: “God, the Father, knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2).
One of my prayers is that God will teach me to walk in moment by moment revival. That means being willing to repent of careless words or inappropriate actions or thoughts. I want to shine for Him. I want my life to be spiritually salty so others will thirst for Christ. I pray that the same desire will be true in your life. Together, we can make a difference in the world around us as we walk in God’s ways.
What does holiness look like to you?