By: Gabriela Yareliz
Today, our Bible study focused on the topic of holiness. Holiness is an important aspect and attribute of God, and it’s important for us to allow God to make us holy, if we really are to reflect who He is.
All of us sitting around the circle with our Bibles and lesson study books looked relieved at the fact that holiness is a gift from God. Our role is to come to Him and to allow Him to transform our hearts.
Still, many of us felt a bit burdened in knowing that in life we deal with very real issues and character flaws. Issues that may embarrass us or make us feel devalued. We struggle with our own pride, narcissism and our failures with others whom we love. Marriages face their potholes, relationships face their detours and sometimes our relationship with ourself is harsh, exacting and unforgiving.
A point in our Bible study was:
“Too often we are self-centered in our religion. We focus too much on our victories and on our defeats rather than [focusing] on God, who alone can give us victory.” Instead of looking to ourselves, we must look up to God. (Page 75; The Holy Spirit and Spirituality; Adult Sabbath School Bible Study)
Hebrews 12:14 tells us: “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Sin separates us from God; therefore, it’s inevitable that if we are close to God, His holiness manifests itself in us.
We studied in the book of Job, in the prior quarter, that being blameless means to live righteously with the light we receive from God. To be blameless before God is not to be flawless but to be spiritually mature and where He wants us to be.
How is it that we can be blameless? We all want this holiness and know that it will require humility and surrender to God. God doesn’t ask us to become holy to approach Him. Instead, He asks us to approach Him and let Him transform us.
What does holiness look like in practical terms? For those of us who end up bickering with a loved one; for those of us who maybe let the flesh desires take hold and we are intemperate, perhaps even in the way we eat; for those of us who aren’t quite patient or kind and prefer pettiness or revenge– how do we, the real humans in this drama, show fruit of holiness?
We discussed today that holiness is based on our relationship with God. It starts with relationship and end with relationship. It’s a journey, a race, a process, an endurance. It’s trying again, over and over again. It’s opening God’s word and seeking His promise and what we have been called to.
I was encouraged by Galatians 5:22-23, which discussed the fruits and attributes that embody holiness. And we must have all of them because when one is missing, something is off.
When we reflect the whole character of God, we reflect:
I don’t know about you, but I really want to embody these traits and live them out genuinely.
I thought it would be neat to pray, asking God, for each trait, one by one. Really thinking about what each one means; striving to see how we can live this out practically in the day-to-day. Asking God for His gift and power to reflect Him.
Holiness allows us to behold God. It transforms us. It was what we were created for, therefore the restoration of it in us has got to be one of the most powerful experiences of all.