Most years, while we are on vacation, the Holy Spirit graciously seems to ‘give’ me a Bible verse(s) for the year ahead. This year, a strong and profound statement from Hebrews 12:14(b):
“Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”
Thinking back of the verses given for 2015, I was encouraged to forget the former things, and ‘told’ that God was going to do something new in our country… did I not see it? … It has already begun. He was going to make a pathway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18 and 19). It had a profound effect on my thinking about God’s plan(s) for our country and the many challenges that lay ahead … and God did do something new…
For 2016, I had to find my strength in quietness and confidence in the Lord (Isaiah 30:15). One of my profound weaknesses … I tend to fret and worry, question and misunderstand, rather than accept the status quo in quietness, and going forward in strength … and God did give me strength, notwithstanding my own fears.
For 2017, I lifted my eyes to the hills, wondering where my help would come from in the year ahead, and suddenly realised that my help would only come from the Lord, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. (Ps 121:1 and 2) … and God did help me.
For the year ahead, I realised that God wanted to take me to a new level when I read Hebrews 12:14b. It came as a bit of a shock and I had to read, reread, meditate and think about this profound statement. “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” If I dare to call myself a Christian, it is not just a quick off-the-cuff statement or a game of sorts – it is a life-and-death matter and very, very serious. Having a profound FAITH in the Son of God for the forgiveness of all our sins should lead to a distinct and holy lifestyle.
Where did I stand?
I had to do a serious reality-check on my own life. Was I ready to state that I was leading a holy life? Holy in all my ways? With my eyes, my thoughts, my words, my heart and my deeds? The Bible provides the answers. It starts by believing in the Son of God and the significance of the Cross. Once we believe that we have been saved from our sinful nature and made holy by faith, the journey commences. Our faith grows by seeking God’s face on a daily basis. As I reflect on my life, I was encouraged by God’s promises and guidance to do things I would never have dreamt of doing – the Eduplex Complex was one of these major achievements and the Ear Institutes another. I had to overcome all my fears and be obedient to His promises and guidance. It was not easy, but it was exciting!
It took years of prayer, planning, tears and hard work. God made the impossible possible. Yet, I could do all of this ‘for the Lord’, but did that place me on the path of holiness?
Was I making every effort to live in peace with all men; to see to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many; to see that no one (including myself) is sexually immoral (Hebrews 12:14-16)? Again I had to ask, ”Am I faithful to my spouse with my eyes, my thoughts and my words?”
What do I listen to? Do I partake in negative or inappropriate talk? Is my heart and my mind really turned towards Jesus and do I take captive every thought (yes, especially questionable thoughts) and make it obedient to Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)
I trust that 2018 is going to be a blessed year, as we try to obey on this journey called holiness – busying ourselves with Godly Things rather than Good Things.