Holiness is His Job

For He Who Began A Good Work in You, will Complete It-Phil 1:6

     I’m beginning to understand that holiness is not about changing our behavior; it is about changing our hearts.  For me, it is quite simple, if I have a desire to do something, even a sinful something, I will find a way to do it.  Even if I have set up external factors that prevent me from engaging in whatever behavior I have the desire to do, eventually I will find a way to do it.  Holiness is not about controlling my external environment; it is about changing the heart behind the behavior.  The removal of the desire is rarely accomplished by my own human efforts; it must be a work of the Holy Spirit.  For me, this is what Paul is talking about in the above-quoted verse.  I think this was also on David’s mind when he composed Psalm 139.

     David writes, “You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me.” (139:5). It seems that David is recognizing the fact that God is doing a work in his heart that he is not able to accomplish on his own.  After yielding my heart to God, such as it is, sinful and all, The Holy Spirit will be begin to remove evil desires to from my heart.  He concludes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24).  It seems that David is here describing the process of holiness.  He acknowledges that it is an “inside job” and requires the intervention of God.  Likewise, Psalm 141:4 states “Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works.”  David knew that the process of sanctification is filled with events.  The removal of an evil desire from the heart is an event.  A baptism in the love of God is also an event.  However, the entirety of becoming holy, for me, has been a process filled with events.  These events lead me into increasing levels of holiness.  It seems this was also on David’s mind when he writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

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The Righteous Will See it and Rejoice

After my experience with God during tabernacles, I felt that I was “free” to do ministry without making it about me. Meaning, that I could minister to other people and not see it as a vehicle of God accepting me or rejecting me. I felt that I could minister and my relationship with God would be unchanged. However, He knows me better than I know me.

As I was sitting there pondering this, Rina came into the room and told me something that was a really good spiritual insight. I can’t remember what it was but I remember thinking, “Wow, Rina’s got some good stuff.” God speaks to me and says, “What if I use Rina to minister to people and not you.” Immediately, I was not OK with that. I knew my reaction was “not good” so I went into the “prayer closet” to figure out what was going on with me.

It was the old spirit of rejection again. I felt that if God used Rina in ministry that I was being rejected by God. It stems from a spirit of poverty that believes that if God uses someone else in the body for ministry that He has somehow rejected me.

Here are a few of the things that God spoke to me that set me back into the center of God’s love.

1. When God does mighty works through someone else, the “righteous will see it and rejoice.” They are secure in their relationship with Him. They know that He loves them and they enjoy an intimacy with God that is untouchable. Nothing separates them from the “love of Christ.” So, when God uses others in mighty ways, the righteous don’t make it about them. They see it and rejoice.

2. When God does mighty things through others, He is still my Shepherd and His love for Me is the same as the love He has for the mighty minister. The Lord is still my Shepherd.

3. If God does do mighty works through me, it means nothing of His acceptance and love for me. I’m accepted by God regardless of what happens on the mission field. Success means nothing of His acceptance for me and failure means nothing of His rejection of me.

4. We don’t work in order to be fulfilled, we work because we are fulfilled.

The Kingdom: Sanctification and Faith

“He who began a good work I you will complete it…”(Phil 1:6)

The Holy Spirit comes inside the believer at the point of salvation.  He then begins a work of making us holy, this is sanctification.  It’s a process that is filled with events. (These events we will describe later as the need for reconciliation, the process of sanctification, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the anointing, on the other blog where the book is being written)   Oftentimes, this process of sanctification comes over time.  As the Holy Spirit leads us into holiness, we become conformed to the image of God.  This is our identity, the image of Christ.  Faith, once it is inside the soul, has a transforming effect.  This is a kingdom principle and Jesus gave us a series of parables to explain.  He states:

“Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like?  And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and ti grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19)

According to this parable, man and God are co-laboring to produce the Kingdom.  First, the man places one of the smallest seeds in the plant family and plants it in his garden.  The Garden is symbolic of the man’s soul.  The mustard seed is symbolic of faith.  By faith, the man waits for the seed to grow.   When faith is birthed in our hearts it begins to change things in the inner man.  It may not be apparent, but eventually everything is going to change.  Faith grows until it becomes the largest tree in the garden of the soul.  This is like the Kingdom.  A certain measure of faith is always present within us.  This faith begins a process of growth within our inner man.  It is a slow process of change but it yields huge results.  Rapid growth in the kingdom can be dangerous.  Growing in the Kingdom is a process, but if we continue in faith, we will become a tree.  A tree is symbolic of an anointed and gifted leader. (Psalm 52:8, psalm 92:12)  An live tree is one that produces the anointing in lives of others.

Jesus continues,”  And again He said, ‘To what shall I liken the Kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal til lit was all leavened.” (Luke 13:20-21)

The woman takes the leaven. (Generally in scripture, leaven is symbolic of sin, but in this parable it is symbolic of faith)  Faith has a similar action as leaven.  It is placed inside the lump of the soul and it is undetectable to the naked eye.  When left alone, it causes everything around it to grow to twice its size.  The woman takes the leaven (faith) and implant it into the bread (soul) .  Then, the leaven (faith) changes the entire make-up of the bread (soul and life) and causes a transformation over time.  This is how faith and the Kingdom work and how growth in the Kingdom is achieved.