Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pursuing Holiness: God's Provision and Our Responsibility

I am almost finished reading Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness. It is a great read, and packed with very convicting and applicable insights from an author who has definitely done is research on the topic and has obviously experience this pursuit in his own journey as a Christ follower. In His book he states the following about God's provision and our responsibility in our pursuit of holiness:

"God has made provisions for our holiness and he has also given us a responsibility for it. God's provision for us consists in delivering us from the reign of sin, uniting us with Christ, and giveing us the indwelling Holy Spirit to reveal sin, to create a desire for holiness, and to strengthen us in our pursuit of holiness."

"If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation."

These two statements have great implications in my present experience on my journey. Many of times I am tempted and try my darnedest not to give in, but eventually fall. Almost immediately, I turn and fall on my knees and ask for forgiveness, and ask God to give me the strength to resist temptation. What I read in the above is that the crying out needs to happen in the midst of the temptation, if I am to overcome it. In my pursuit of holiness I need to realize that I have all I need to be obedient to God, and grow in holiness. The key for me is to not wait until after I fall to cry out to God for more strength, but instead cry out to him during my temptation, realizing that I have His strength within me through the Holy Spirit, and plead for mercy during this time.

It is inevitable that this process will take time, and I am sure to fail, but this is new and fresh way, for me at least, to look at this awesome pursuit. What are your thoughts? Are you in full pursuit of holiness in your everyday journey? May God grant us the grace and mercy needed to pursue him and his holiness.

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