Is holiness achieved by running away from a corrupt society? No. Not at all. Let us take a quick look at two reasons:
First of all as Jesus said wrong things proceed from within; from our hearts (Mark 7:20-23). And our hearts are always with us wherever we go.
Secondly, Jesus, the Sinless One, lived with people. His ministry was in the marketplace. He mixed with sinners and was even called the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). But that did not corrupt Him.
So holiness that God demands is not achieved by going away from people but is something to be practically lived out while we are in the midst of people.
Here are some practical ways in which we can live holy lives:
# 1. Pray to God to create a clean, pure heart within you (Psalm 51:10).
This is important because we cannot create anything pure of ourselves. Only God can do it.
# 2. Hide God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:9, 11).
Many nations have huge collections of arms including nuclear weapons. When they have such a huge collection with them, other nations will think a hundred times before daring to attack. Likewise store Bible verses in your heart and like Jesus did with Satan, use it like what it is-the Sword of the Spirit to defeat the devil when he attacks.
# 3. Ask God to fill you with the Spirit of God (Ephesians 5:18).
Being filled with the Spirit is contrasted with being drunk with wine. The key word is influence. Wine influences people much. Instead of being influenced by it, be filled by the Spirit of God and come under His influence.
# 4. Change the way you think (Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8).
All wrong actions begin with wrong thoughts. Being sinful people, we tend to think wrong thoughts naturally. But we need to cultivate a new habit of thinking good thoughts. It will lead to good action.
# 5. Control your tongue (James 3:3-12).
Many Christians fail here. The tongue is a small organ in the body. Yet it can cause most harm. So pray to God to give you grace to stop speaking wrong words. Avoid gossip, slander, evil remarks, sexually suggestive comments etc.
# 6, Do not be in doubt about God’s will concerning sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5).
Sexual immorality is to be avoided. God’s will is that you be sanctified; that means cleansed from all filth. Just because the world is full of sexual immorality does not mean that we are to be like wrong-doers.
# 7. Run away from sources of temptation (Genesis 39:13).
Most of us fall into sin because we do not run away. David did not run away when he saw a woman bathing. That resulted in his sin. But Joseph ran away when his mistress tried to make him sleep with her. Be ever ready to run.
These are some of the ways in which you can practice to be holy.