(Part 12–Your Relationship with God)
Why is it important to walk in holiness in your relationship with God? It is because God is holy. You cannot define holiness. But God is praised continuously in heaven as “Holy, Holy, Holy.” So to have a relationship with God you need to share His holiness.
The first step to walk in holiness is to realize that God is holy. No other characteristic describes God better. God is love. True. God is light. True. God is truth. True. Yet all of this is rooted and centred in the truth that God is holy.
The only honest and truthful response possible when you stand before this holy God is a cry of utter despair, “I am undone. I am such a great sinner. O God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” If God did not show mercy to each one of us, in one moment we all will be destroyed. So understand that it is His mercy that enables us to live in spite of our sinfulness.
The second step to walk in holiness is to understand that we need to be cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus shed on the cross. Only the blood of Jesus can purify us from all our sins. For this, we need to confess to God our sins and tell Him with all sincerity that we had sinned against Him. Then we need to seek His forgiveness. And forgiveness is given to us through the blood of Jesus.
Just like we take bath everyday, we need to come again and again to the cleansing fountain, that is the blood of Jesus. This is because everyday, we come across situations which bring evil thoughts to our minds. Often it corrupts and defiles our minds. It stains our souls with filth. So we need to seek the cleansing of the blood of Jesus each passing day.
The third step is fill our mind with God’s Word. The Psalmist says that he has hidden God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin against God. He also says that it is by obeying God’s Word that a young man can keep his way pure. The Word of God has great cleansing power. It searches the innermost parts of our heart and reveals to us our sins so that it can be confessed and given up, and our hearts cleansed.
Temptations can only be defeated if you learn to apply the Word of God against that temptation. That is the reason why the Word of God is called the Sword of the Spirit. It is sharper than any double-edged sword. Jesus used it with mighty force during His temptations so that Satan had to flee in defeat.
The fourth step is to rely on the Spirit of God. Jesus, while on earth, lived in the power given by the Spirit of God. This is the model for us to follow. If we walk in the guidance of God’s Spirit, then we will not live in sin.
In order to rely on the Spirit of God, we need to first admit our utter helplessness to fight the evil of impurity and lust in our lives. I am sure you would agree with me that often you have tried hard to resist temptation in your own strength and failed miserably. Sometimes, God waits till you admit your helplessness to live a life of purity. Then He fills you with His Holy Spirit so that the influence of the Spirit of God in your life will help you live a holy life.
One last step. There are practical things you can do to live a life of purity. Avoid situations where you are tempted. The example of young Joseph in the Bible is a case in point. He was doing his duty when Potiphar’s wife took hold of him asking him to go to bed with her. But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. So run out of evil’s path. Do not try to stay long to take another look at wrong things. Do not go by the same path where you know temptations are waiting for you. Also seek the help of friends who will pray for you.
The Bible says that the pure in heart will see God. Let your heart’s cry be, “O God, create in me a pure heart.” Ask God to create in your heart a longing to live a pure and holy life. The moment you utter that prayer, you will know the fire and fury of temptations. Let those fiery temptations make you run to your loving Saviour, your great Redeemer and your great Lover, Jesus Christ. Run to Him with great freedom, expectation of help, and confidence. You’ll find His grace sufficient.