I wish there was a shortcut to holiness. If there is I haven’t found it. What I have discovered is that we don’t become Christlike overnight. It takes a daily dying to my own desires, wants and laying down my life. This goes against everything in my human nature. I want to be in control. I want to have the power. I want people to do what I want them to do. I, I, I, I want. Holiness is the practice of denying self over the long haul of life. When I decided to follow Christ it was no longer what I wanted but what He willed.
C.S. Lewis once brilliantly said:
If God does not support us, not one of us is safe from some gross sin. On the other hand, no possible degree of holiness or heroism which has ever been recorded of the greatest saints is beyond what He is determined to produce in every one of us in the end. The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death.
We have a helper and His name is the Holy Spirit. He is nudging us along the way of life closer to Christ. We may not ever get to where we want to be spiritually but He is there to help us in our weakness. Sanctifying us day by day, bit by bit, choice by choice. We will not achieve perfection in this life.
John Stott puts it this way:
For Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness” to liberate us from all the ravages of the fall. This we have not yet experienced. The New Testament people of God, though already redeemed from guilt and judgment, are yet waiting for the day of redemption when we shall be made perfect.
The whole creation is groaning to be liberated from its bondage to decay. Some wonderful day Christ, the bridegroom will redeem us and the universe from all sin, pain, futility and decay. What a glorious day that will be!
While we wait for that day remember these words of Jesus for we have a lot of work to do.
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:12-14 NIV
Let us be about doing greater things today. Love those around you with an unselfish love. Give generously. Don’t look for the worst in people but be about helping to bring out their best. Ask the Spirit to guide you and listen to His promptings. Love like He loved. Serve like He served. Give like He gave. When you can’t, beg Him for more strength.