Can a person be Holy? And how would one become holy if it were even possible?
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
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The Bible talks about this topic extensively. In today’s devotional, I’d like to share with you everything I’ve learned about being holy.
LIVING IN THE DARKNESS
I remember Valentine’s Day of 2017. I was off work, even though it was a Tuesday.
I was in our marital residence in Cumming, GA, depressed, suicidal, trying to put my thoughts together.
Four weeks prior to that, Michel filed for his second divorce in our first year of marriage.
He first filed in September on 2016, just four months after our wedding.
In November, he asked me to reconcile and I said yes.
In December, our divorce was dismissed.
Five weeks later, in January of 2017, Michel filed for a divorce again.
To say that the Valentine’s Day 2017 was painful for me is an understatement.
I was devastated. I was sad. I was hurt.
Michel chose a bicycle and his dream of becoming an IronMan over our marriage.
Still living in our marital residence, I was open to yet another reconciliation. At the same time, I was bitter and resentful toward Michel. I couldn’t imagine forgiving him.
I was also ashamed of having his last name. I had such a painful inner conflict between Anna Stevens, who I was before we got married, and Anna Szabo, who I became after I married Michel. I felt that Michel didn’t deserve the honor of passing his last name to me.
That day, I was home working on the documents Michel’s attorney subpoenaed for our divorce.
I was downstairs in the living room, sitting on our orange-leather sectional, when Michel came down with his face covered and informed me that he had the flu and was going to the doctor.
Seeing the man I loved and condemned all at the same time sick with the flu vomiting green mucus, the emotions I experienced were diverse.
I felt compassion. I felt anger. I felt love. I felt hatred. I wanted to take care of Michel but I also was raging on the inside.
BEING PURIFIED BY GOD
When Michel walked out of the house, I was sitting on the couch still, and the Holy Spirit got a hold of me.
I heard clearly: “Go clean Michel’s room and change his bed sheets.”
I was in shock! Absolutely no! No way on earth!!!!! I will not do it!
And Jesus said to me again: “Go take care of Michel. He is your brother in Christ.”
If God weren’t sovereign, I’d hide from Him. But since He is sovereign, He is everywhere all the time. So, I obeyed.
Walking upstairs to the guest bedroom where Michel lived, I cringed and flinched.
I remember walking in and seeing his bed sheets brown-black dirty, Kleenex everywhere, dust is measured in inches, and spiders on every corner.
No reminders of our marriage anywhere but reminders of his IronMan everywhere.
I was irate.
I put my cleaning mask and gloves on and went to work.
I vacuumed, dusted, changed his bed sheets, and did everything else I’d do for a sick brother.
I also cooked and did 5 loads of laundry for him.
Amazingly, along with spiders and dust, gone was also my anger and resentment.
I felt humbled. I felt compassionate. I felt only love for Michel. I felt sorrow for our marriage. I felt commitment to my husband. I felt genuine care toward my brother in Christ.
I had a heart of stone filled with unforgiveness and harshness that morning. And God replaced it with a forgiving and gentle heart of flesh that same day by the afternoon.
God purified me. He ran me through a filter of His word and as a result I experienced a heart transformation.
GETTING A HEART OF FLESH
Being resentful and bitter, I was the one who took in all the poison.
Experiencing a heart transformation and feeling love and compassion, I was the one relieved.
Ezekiel 36:26 says this:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
That’s what Jesus did when He called me through the Holy Spirit to take care of sick Michel.
When we accept Jesus as our lord and savior, we are in Christ. And the Holy Spirit is in us.
If we choose to walk in the Spirit, the result is the Fruit of the Spirit, including love, patience, gentleness, and self-control.
Here’s how 1 Corinthians 6:11 explains this phenomenon:
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Through Jesus, we get transformed from guilty to justified and from sinful to sanctified. We are washed by the blood of Jesus and we are purified through the event if justification.
We get a new heart of flesh when intentionally walking in the Spirit instead of submitting to our old ways of stone-like heart and being a slave to sin.
Here’s how Ephesians 4:22-24 explains it in detail:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
It dawned on me that day: in the attitudes of my mind, I can be holy through Christ.
I can be like Christ and demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit. I can do it by following the direction of the Holy Spirit who lives in me.
God calls us to be holy. He tells us exactly WHY and HOW we should go about it.
1 Peter 1:15-16 says this:
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Because God is holy and we are His children, we can also be holy. In fact, He said we can.
1 Peter 2:9 talks about the journey:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Read the verse carefully. What’s the reason for us to be holy? To glorify God!
Christ empowers us to be holy so that God can receive all the glory.
On Valentine’s Day of 2017, I learned this truth: I can be holy by following the Holy Spirit who leads me out of darkness into the light in order to glorify God.
What is the outcome of our human holiness? The Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Can you relate to my story?
Do you recall any dark times when you had a heart of stone and were walking in Flesh, aka sin?
How did God turn things around for you?
Did God soften your heart? Did He call you out of darkness into His light?
Remember: if you gave your life to Christ, because He is holy, you are holy.
Choose to follow the Holy Spirit and you’ll bear much fruit.
Memorize this Biblical affirmation and repeat it every time your heart needs to be realigned with God.
I am holy
I’ve been called by God out of darkness.
He made me new, my old self He purified.
With a new heart He replaced my heart of hardness.
In God’s likeness, I am holy and sanctified.
I’d love to pray for your acceptance of God’s truth about who you are in Christ.
Share with me in the comments below your thoughts on being holy in the likeness of God.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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