As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16
There are epochs of history where nations declare open war against nations. Yet, even during peacetime, there are a plethora of happenings going on that are behind the scenes to the casual observer. Peace deals, treaty talks, and other forms of international communication encounter various amounts of tension that may even result in military action. It still takes a perfect storm of circumstances to elicit an all out war.
Similarly, there are periods in the Christian life that involve more obvious onslaughts of spiritual warfare. In some instances, the spiritual hostility may be more palpable. At other times, the seasoned or the spiritually gifted more readily discern such activity. Just as there tend to be stressful moments that take place outside the public eye in international diplomacy, so there are spiritual matters going on in the every day.
Not every moment that we walk this earth will be filled with blatant signs that God is moving or that the enemy is attempting to advance. Still, we as Christians have a responsibility to conduct ourselves a certain way during our daily activity. We should always seek to put on an attitude of obedience–one that does not reconcile a purely naturalistic understanding of the world with our Christianity.
Whether we sense a clear signaling from God in our daily walk or not, we should aim for a goal that is infinitely higher than the bar that culture and society has set for us. The Bible provides clear indications for how we should live our lives and for what the content of our character should be. Our standard is not goodness as other people would like to define it. We do not strive to live by a set of established rules. Instead, our lives ought to be defined by, enveloped in, and overflowing with the very character of God.
We are to be holy as God is holy, and He is not holy simply because he always makes the right decisions (though He does). God’s holiness does not rely on some external foundation of purity (His goes beyond anything humans can comprehend). Instead, the holiness of God is something that naturally exudes from His divine personality, and from His holiness flow righteousness and justice.
A character that motivates our devotion, our virtuosity, our zeal for the truth–this should be the Christian’s goal regardless of the time or season. Such a character can only be defined as love, for “God is love” (cf. 1 Jn 4:16). Of course, love such as this can only be delivered unto us by the salvation of God: His advent and intervention. Whether we feel God around or not, we must invest in prayer and petition for His presence so that we can fulfill the command of imitating Him in how we relate to others as well as Himself. For without Him, we can do nothing.
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Are you feeling it?