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HOW TO DEVELOP AND PRACTICE HOLINESS..............In a Difficult World

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  YES, YOU CAN BE HOLY…


Every Christian have the Holy Spirit

But, if we have the Holy Spirit, why do we struggle to live a holy life?



It is a wonderful thing to realize that all Christians have the Holy Spirit.  And with the Holy Spirit, holy living becomes easy. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9)  Therefore if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit.

But the question is "If we really have the Holy Spirit, why is it such a struggle to live a holy life"? Conversion to Christ does not perfect us. We are still sinners. “For the sinful desires of the 'old man' in us is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit is contrary to the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:17).

Some people think that new Christians proceed to holy living automatically, with no help from other believers. It does not happen just like that.  It is a process that build up with time as the believer studies and obey the Word, participate in the Church activities, he/she begins to know himself in the Lord and his talent and probably where God is calling him to serve.

Righteousness and holiness begins to manifest in the life of believers when they begin to mature in the Word and things of God.  When their trust and confidence in God and His power to provide for them comes alive in the heart of such a believer.

Holy living becomes a priority of many believers who wants to please God and enjoy His divine protection and provision.  From my experience, many Christians would like to live holy, but the cares of this world, desire to success and get rich get in the way, to the end that they don't have time for things of God, talk less of being separated unto God.

From the scriptures, anything holy is dedicated to the service of God's kingdom, and this is why the High Priest and the Prophets of old were people seperately from worldliness (Not the world) and dedicated to serving and doing the biddings of the Almighty God.

This piece is presented to show that a believer cans walk in holiness, though we were conceived and born in iniquity. It is expected that when we give our heart to Jesus Christ, which is reconciliation to our God, we should follow through and walk-out our confession.

We are expected to walk in obedience to God's word, observing to do all it says in faith.  When we do this, we have the courage and boldness to step out of the wilderness of sin into a life of purity, righteousness and holiness.  

Holiness is one of the keys to seeing God.  It helps you to be pure in heart and the pursuit of holiness brings joy and peace of mind. I present practical steps and actions that will help you grow in the lifestyle of heaven - in Holiness and righteousness.

This is new life in Christ which is after the new man created in the image of God the super highway of victory over the devil, his influences and oppression. It is also the path to power with God, prosperity and destiny fulfillment.

Holiness is an important key for all Christians sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Salvation is the entry into the pathway to eternity and we are commanded to be holy because our Father in heaven is holy.  Not only that, heaven is a holy place and eternity either in heaven or in the new earth is meant for only the holy and righteous ones.

A BRIEF LOOK AT SIN:

All unrighteousness is sin. Whatever is not right is wrong. Sin brings reproach. Erodes honour and bring low. Sin is at the root of affliction, disease and death. (Ezek.18:20) 

Sin is deceptive (Heb 3:13), Sin offers temporal pleasure (Heb. 11:25) and destructive (Prov. 11:3)

Sin is not anybody's friend: -  it is an enemy that brings shame and destruction. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he was stripped naked (Gen. 3:20)

Crookedness could bring temporal gains, it is a barrier to honour, let it go from your life. Unfaithfulness, cheating and taking advantage of people is corruption you should depart from, else you will see corruption. Prov. 11:3

Depart from Egypt (worldliness), meddle not with sin so that you do not become entangled with it and end up in shame. Despise not the Word of God, depart from iniquity - repeatedly going back to a particular sin, else you provoke God to anger and you are destroyed.

Jesus lived in holiness - He separated himself from the things of this world unto God in prayer and supplication, presented His body blameless to the father;  He spoke and did only what he heard from the Father and by so doing he pleased God and fulfilled his destiny on earth - doing the will of the Father and completing it.  

All believers are expected to walk in holiness and by so doing, have power and favour with God.  No wonder many children of God have never tasted the goodness and power of God.  “You shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you... is strange to them”, yet everything that heaven has assigned us to do can only be successfully accomplished in a state of holiness.

Holiness makes us to show compassion for people in sickness, lack and needy especially when we are in a position to help them. When we pray for the sick we must show compassion just as Jesus did in Luke 7:13.  In Mathew 14:14, Jesus was also moved with compassion "And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick.”

Holiness makes us crave for life in the Spirit and to walk in Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  That we give our life to the Holy Ghost and be filled by Him.  When we walk in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit brings every thought of vanity and lust which the enemy will post to your heart to captivity. 

Holiness translates to a humble life. The Lord hates the proud because pride is the character of the devil.  Humble life means that you have submitted your life to God

Holiness is demonstrated by the love for the Word of God and studying it daily to know our God deeper.  Studying and meditating on His word sheds the light of the word of God upon our lives so we see who we are. When the hidden filths are revealed, amendments are possible and easy.

Holiness requires that we keep the right company for evil communication corrupt bad manners.  If you move with and around wrong people, one day, you will do what they do. If you move with people that tell lies, one day you will begin to tell lies.

Holiness is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength as it is commanded and practiced by our Saviour Jesus Christ - Mark 12:30  “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” 

This is achieved by -   By separating ourselves from the world; Serving God in a bible believing church and doing His Will; Living in obedience to His Word and Voice like praying and fasting when led by the Holy Spirit; Also, by loving your neighbor and showing such love to people in need irrespective of their faith.

Holiness is a difficult thing for lazy Christians because it requires dedication to the things of God, good works, Studying the Word of God and living by it, Forgiving offenses and loving the Lord with our spirit, soul and body.

Why Holiness  

Holiness is a commandment, not an advice.  For without holiness, no eyes shall see the Lord.  Eternity in heaven is the goal of salvation.  So, whatever is required for us to do in order to enter eternity in Christ is paramount.  

Holiness starts from the heart and flow outwards to affect people with goodness of God.  Holiness will be manifested in your body, your communication, conduct and in the choices you make.

Holiness, when it flows downward to the body, make you to value yourself as you should, and give you the wisdom to carry your body in sanctification - In your body is your mouth, your tongue, your eyes and ear - gateways to your heart.  In your body also is your legs and hands which must be used to glorify God. 

Holiness in your body means that the body will also be holy and free from all fornication and every form of sexual defilement, so you will have a pure heart before God

Holiness is the expressway to freedom from demonic oppression.  It requires daily self-examination to make sure there is no guile, envy, malice, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger etc that will open the door for the devil to oppress.

In Obadiah 17, the bible says but upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possession. The bible went ahead to say that the house of Jacob shall be fire, the house of Joseph shall be a flame…

Holiness is required to maintain your deliverance and possess your possessions. Having deliverance without holiness is an effort in futility, because the person will soon return to the same sin that put him in that bondage. Without holiness, the benefits of deliverance will be lost.


PRACTICAL HOLINESS 

Holiness is the life of God.  Holiness is living the life of Christ - life of obedience to the Word of God and doing THE Will of His Father.  God is holy and demand holiness from His children because it is in a state of holy living that God is glorified.  

It is in a holy state that a man’s life will shines before men and bring glory to God; it is in a holy state that His will can be done.  Holiness requires that we train our mind, eyes and ears to yield to Jesus Christ and follow after Him, just as our body should.

Holiness requires that we die completely to self.  Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24).

Holiness is worked out daily.  It is like sanctification, you sanctify yourself daily by examining yourself and your ways.  You brush your teeth everyday till you die.  If you brush it today, you will still brush it tomorrow and any day you fail to brush your teeth, you mouth begins to smell.  

Holiness is lived out daily in the things we do, the choices we make in relationship, business etc. The beauty and enjoyment of a holy life is that it can always be improved upon. We can live in all the light that shines upon us from the word of God today, but tomorrow we find them shining a little brighter and fuller light, so that we shall have to live a little more holy than we are living today. 

Thus all along our Christian way we shall find that we are growing and becoming holier in life, and more of the transcendent beauty of Jesus will be seen upon us.

KINDNESS - “And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”* Let this law of kindness get into your life as its very essence. It is not enough to affect kindness; we must be kind. A tender heart is the groundwork of kindness. Out of such a soil the beautiful flowers of gentleness, kindness, and tenderness grow. These perfume the life and make it cheering to others. Can you be more kind in your daily life? Is your heart so tender that it feels the suffering of the child or the pain of the dumb animal to the extent that you find pleasure in giving relief even at the expense of self-ease?

AFFECTION - “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Guard your heart. “Keep it with all diligence.” See that all of its affections are on things above. Some of the earthly things that God has given into your keeping will want some of your affection. The beautiful home, the farm, the bank account, the domestic animals, and even some things almost worthless will want a little of your heart’s love. Your own talents and personal appearance may desire some of your affection, just enough to set you approving them for your own sake. 

GIVING THANKS - “In everything give thanks. “Giving thanks always for all things.” Thankfulness is a grace easily improved and developed if cultivated. Likewise, it will very soon degenerate if neglected. In order to keep a deep sense of thankfulness in our hearts we must be mindful of the gracious dealings of God. It is well to take time as often as circumstances will permit to meditate in some quiet place upon the goodness of God to you. We should have such thankful hearts that ofttimes tears of gratitude will flow at the remembrance of God’s goodness.

REJOICE - Rejoice evermore. “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” “Rejoice always: and again I say, Rejoice. - Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. This is the power of the Christian life. We can always rejoice. We can be contented and happy, whatever our circumstances in life. God’s grace will sustain us. Every day can be, and should be, a day of rejoicing. God is pleased to have us happy, but He would have our rejoicing to be in Him and not in His blessings. To rejoice in the midst of trial is health to the soul.

PRAY CONTINUALLY - Pray without ceasing. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”* “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”* If you value peace and prosperity of soul, you will not neglect to pray. It is prayer that keeps us up above the clouds and brings heaven down. He who does not pray at all is not a Christian, and he who does not pray much is not much of a Christian. It is not those who have plenty of time to pray that do the most praying, but those who take the time. Let there be some prayer every day.

HUMILITY - “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”* This should be the experience of your heart every day. When we are lowly, we see our own faults and imperfections and our brother’s virtues; therefore we look upon him as better than ourselves. It seems to us that others are more humble than we are, and have more faith and love God more than we do.

CARE FOR OTHERS - “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”* We should be as much concerned in others’ welfare as in our own. He who is looking out for himself and neglecting others has not advanced very far in the Christian life. The Christian lives for others. He will overlook his own needs and see his brother’s needs.

WELL DOING - “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good both among yourselves, and to all men.” Also, let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.   To go about doing good out of a heart full of love is the way to spend life. Heaven is going to reward us according to our works. The Bible tells us so. Never a day should go by without our having done some good thing purposely out of love to God and man. The Lord does not overlook small deeds when done in love. A coral is very small, but many of them make an island: a little good deed done every day will in a lifetime amount to enough to build a splendid mansion in heaven.

BURDEN SHARER - “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  To lift a load from off the shoulders of another is noble service. To remove a burden from another’s heart is truly Christlike. He who goes through life bearing the burdens of others has found the easiest road; he who goes through life refusing to aid others travels a road of hardest toil.

HATE ALL EVIL - “Abhor that which is evil.” God is holy; consequently He hates that which is evil. When we admire the holiness of God, we loathe sin; if sin has no horror to our soul, holiness has no beauty. To the extent we love holiness, to that extent we hate sin. A good man of long ago said, “If I should see the shame of sin on the one hand, and the pain of hell on the other, and must of necessity choose one, I would rather be thrust into hell without sin than go into heaven with sin.”1

LOVE GOD, DRAW NEAR TO HIM - “Cleave to that which is good.”* To cleave is to adhere tightly to; cling. We cleave to that which is good by ever doing good. When we hate sin as we should and see its awful shame, and love the good and see its wondrous beauty, we would rather go to hell doing good than to heaven committing sin.

CONTENTMENT - “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Let thy life be free from all frettings and worryings. Let it be like the calm flowing of the river. God is a strong and high tower, a refuge, a shield. With our life hidden in Him, worries and frettings cannot reach us. We may be treated unjustly by a bosom friend, but we commit it to God, and instead of feeling the wound the friend gives, we feel the balm our Father gives.

“Be content with such things as ye have.”  I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  He who has gained contentment has gained more than he who has gained the wealth of a world, if it be contentment with godliness. A discontented life is a dark spot on the page of human history. An even, contented life is as a lighthouse shedding its peaceful beams over the turbulent waters where voyagers come and go.

CHARITY - “And above all these things put on charity; which is the bond of perfectness.”* Throw the mantle of love over every act and thought in life. Love purely, love sincerely, love fervently. Nothing is so great as love. All the graces have their seat in love; you cannot be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, or forbearing without love.

LET PEACE OF GOD RULE - And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”  Let the peace of God act as umpire, deciding every case. Let it have the ruling power in your heart and life today and every day. Whatever matters may arise, let the peace of God take it in hand and dispose of it. If it shows any resistance, then let the peace of God cast it out.

SPEECH: - Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Have a pure speech, made mighty by the grace of God. Be sober without gloom, be serious with cheerfulness. Have such a conversation as is suited to lift hearts to a higher plane. Your words should be such as to make better those you talk with and make them feel that there is something higher for them.

WORRY NO MORE - “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”* This is beautiful. Submissiveness is a desirable grace and one that will strew your pathway with peace. How blessed it is to be always ready to give up our way! It is the easy way. We shall find life’s way a hard road to travel if we are always wanting our way.

“Be careful for nothing.”* “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”* “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.”* The Christian life is one of freedom from anxiety. Jesus will bear all our burdens and cares, if we will but cast them on Him. There is no need to worry nor to bear a load of care. A certain brother was much troubled about not having bread for the next meal. But while he was troubling himself and bearing his load, a man drove up and unloaded a barrel of flour at the door. All the time the brother was troubled, the barrel of flour was on the way. Take no anxiety for future things.

BROTHERLY LOVE - “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.”* Brotherly love is precious in the sight of angels. It is the most convincing proof of the Christian religion. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”* But in addition to brotherly love there should be kind affection. This is love felt and expressed. There are those who really love, yet whose nature is such that they do not feel much love. Kind affection, like every other grace, is capable of cultivation.

In honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.”* These words contain depth of experience, but only by prayer and deep meditation can we descend to their depth.


In Galatians 2:20, we have the account of Paul’s yieldedness when he said “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” 

Holiness is the life of Christ . Holiness means that we yield ourselves to Christ as He yielded to the Father - (John 5:19-20).  Holiness is living the life that brings glory to the kingdom of God and doing what Christ did while He was on the earth.

Holiness requires that Christ dwells in us by the Word and the person of the Holy Spirit. The in dwelling of Christ in us is soon tested when we are smitten upon the right cheek, when we are evil spoken of, misrepresented, misunderstood, neglected, despised, and forsaken. 

The in-dwelling of Christ in our heart is also seen from the way we feel the pains of other people, including our enemies. How the need of our brothers and sisters affect us, when we see our brother in need; those sick around us, the thirsty and hungry, families we know are struggling to eat once a day.  Brethren, we must not fail in showing love and sharing the burden of our neighbours.

CONCLUSION:

Beloved, a close look at these practical steps will show clearly that no man can live holy by his or her power, but by His grace along, trusting and resting on God's help.  Jesus said "with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible".

You should desire and take steps to live right daily before God and man, but it is God that will help you succeed in right living.

You must also, understand that the devil is annoyed by holy living because of the power it confers on the believer and the fire of protection, the hedge it provides around us.

It is my prayer that all believers are holiness conscious and work-out their salvation daily with good works.  This is easy when we surrender all cares unto Jesus Christ and wait on Him for guidance in our daily business.

The Lord give you the grace to live holy in Jesus name.


Shalom!


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