Do you want intimacy with God? Then you will have to work for it!
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” Leviticus 20:7-8
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; I Peter 1:15
“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Ask yourself: Am I changing into what God wants me to be? Am I changing into what God needs me to be to walk in the calling, He created for me? Have I been found faithful? Am I manifesting God’s workmanship in my life?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Many have come to look upon the world and the way it is as the natural and expected thing! Men and women are not disappointed anymore in the fact that all truth is not found in their teachers, and politicians! Nor are they all upset that complete honesty in our merchants or full trustworthiness in our friends is hardly anywhere to be found! Most just fluff it off as, “Oh well, that is just the way it is, and we have to live with it!” Men and women have become desensitized to how very sinful this world is. Over many years this has slowly been happening in the movies we watch and the books/magazines we read!
Holy is the way God is! He does not conform to a standard. He is the standard! He is absolutely - Holy with an infinite, incomprehensible fullness of purity that is incapable of being other than it is. Because God is Holy, whatever we think of as belonging to God MUST be as Holy! (Unknown)
“On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says, “You are to be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
“Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
People say: “I am doing my best for God!” And people should do that! They should do their best. But, done right as in done perfect for God? No way! Why? This goes back to: how can you do something perfect in an imperfect world? A great many people do not think of it that way, because they think: God is so wonderful and so awesome and so marvelous, and He deserves perfect! Absolutely, He does! However, that is not going to happen on this earth! It just is not possible while we are on this earth. We are not going to do everything perfect in an imperfect world. The church teaches Jesus was perfect and we are to strive to be perfect in the way we serve God. We cannot! Let me attempt to clarify something here: When Adam and Eve blew it so many things went wrong after that. Everything that God had created as perfect was gone! They did not just blow it for us in the sense that now we have sin, but now we have pain and suffering! That is not all that has changed! They blew it in a lot more ways than that. However, the point here is that the world the way it is now, the way we eat, the way we sleep, the way we exist, is not what it should be. It is not the way it was meant to be! Nothing is the way it was meant to be! Not even our relationship with God! In the Garden of Eden man was free to communicate with God and hear His voice! There was nothing to get in the way! Yes, we still are free, to talk with God and hear His voice - but it is not the same! There are distractions of all kinds and types! We were created to live in a perfect world! That world was called Paradise! Otherwise known as the Garden of Eden! We were not created to live in a world full of sin, anxiety, lying, brutality, and the list goes on! We were created to live in a Heaven on Earth environment! Everything was perfect there. However, as you know that is not how it is today! There was no sickness, or broken relationships, or people hating each other. There was no need for counselors, doctors, psych doctors, hospitals, etc. Everything was perfect! When sin entered the world, nothing was ever the same! We would have been happy, joyful, and content 24/7!
This world is IMPERFECT! I hear people say the following quite frequently: “I can’t wait until things get back to normal.” The thing is - in this world there will never be a normal because this world is not our normal – the Garden of Eden was our normal! Man was created to live in the Garden of Eden atmosphere! Nothing can be normal in this world ever! There is too much hate, revenge, death, cheating and simply put – chaos! Individuals would have to change – all of us would have to change! However, most people do not want to! So, what is my point? In Matthew 5:48 God tells us to “be ye perfect”. We can never obtain godly perfection in anything we do on this earth! It is not possible in this imperfect world! So, what God is wanting us to do? He wants us to work towards OUR perfection level and continue to WORK OUT OUR SALVATION!
NOW, when God tells us, we did perfect in a situation – He means you did as perfect as you can do at that moment in your walk with Him! That is all He expects! God expects the best you can be! He expects you to do at any given point in your life your absolute best! He expects you to be the best you can daily in your walk AND in your relationship with Him! When we are truly working hard to do our absolute best and I am talking about really trying to do our best with the right heart intentions then – we are doing OUR PERFECT!
When people say a sinner’s prayer, most of the time the churches and people expect the person from that moment on to live a perfectly clean godly Christian life! They tell them do not do this, do this instead, change this, change that and what they are doing is setting the person up for failure! God does not set people up to fail! There is no such thing in God’s world as – instant breakfast! Like I said in my opening statement of this teaching – if we want intimacy with God – we must work for it! That is what God expects us to do – there is NO such thing in the Kingdom of God as instant breakfast! He does NOT work like that! And for anyone who teaches or preaches or simply shares that they are setting people up for failure! Plus, for anyone to think that we human beings deserve instant breakfast in any area of our lives from God – they are off, and they are wrong!
I say again! When people come to God and say a sinner’s prayer, they are expected to begin almost immediately to live this godly, squeaky-clean life in a split second! That is not going to happen! We live in an imperfect world where there is sin all around us and temptation is staring us in the face every day. It is not FAIR for people in the church to imply to people that the changes in one’s life that come from saying a sinner’s prayer come instantaneous! They do not!
Take comfort in knowing that Jesus knows all about what we go through. Jesus dealt with temptation just like we must! Hebrews 2:17-18 tells us: “Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:17-18)
What an amazing Savior we have! What love He has for us! He did not come to this earth to condemn us. He came to show us how to walk the walk….! Jesus knows that the transformation process takes time. He knows there is no instant breakfast. Our perfect gets better as we get rid of old habits, old hurts, and hang –ups! Any change in anyone’s life takes time! That is what the Transformation process spoken about in Romans 12:1-2 tells us – this is a lifetime process!
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) (NRSV)
I have heard many times people say, “God is doing this to me; He is tempting me and causing this and that to happen to me.” “No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…” (James 1:13) (NRSV)
When Jesus walked this earth, He had to make choices just like we do! When He was tempted - He had to choose to obey! Once again, take comfort in knowing Jesus lived what we must live on this earth.
“Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16) (NRSV)
Jesus had to go through what we must, or He could never say, “I know exactly how you feel.” And the Bible tells us that He was tempted just like we are! Jesus lived on this earth just like you and me.
We will never have a pure heart on this earth – but we can have pure heart intentions! Your choices, the decisions you make, the way you are with others and the way you serve God reflect the intentions of your heart! Our godly perfection comes when we are in Heaven! That will be the finish line and that will be the end to which all things relate! However, I tell you even in Heaven we will never be as perfect and pure as God or Jesus! Think about that – that would put us on the same level with God and His Son and - that never will be! God will never say to you while you are on this earth: “That area of your life is perfect!”
He might say, “For what I AM trying to do - it is going perfectly.” or, “For what I am trying to do in this area, I am very happy, and I am pleased it is going perfectly.” Or, “What you did was perfect.” Or, “The way you handled that was perfect.” However, He will not say, “You are perfect.” He will never say anything close to that because it is not possible! In Heaven our hearts will be perfect, and we will be perfect. For now, we cannot expect people to do everything right for God. It is wrong to expect anyone to do that! It is wrong for us to even think we can be perfect or for the church to say you cannot do this and this and this. If we do, we are expecting people to be perfect! We are expecting perfection on this earth and that does not exist! One of the most humbling truths I have learned in my lifetime is this: If Adam and Eve had not made the choices they did – than one of us would have!
If you try to be perfect, perfect as in godly perfection you will: Wear yourself out! Feel inferior! Feel low! Feel unable to measure up! Your absolute best done with the right heart intentions is your - PERFECT!
As you strive for your perfect/holiness before God – keep in mind: Without respect for God and His Holiness there can be no relationship! As you hunger after God and as you move forward in your relationship with Him the above statement is something that I pray you will take to heart. So, I am going to repeat it. Because it is an especially important fact in our walk with God!
Your absolute best done with the right heart intentions is YOUR PERFECT!
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