The Struggle of Holiness

Devotional; Discussion thought for today.

” Sanctity does not consist in great concerns. It consists in struggling to ensure that the flame of your supernatural life is never allowed to go out; it consists in letting yourself be burned down to the last shred, serving God in the lowest place… or in the highest: wherever the Lord may call you.     Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 441-444). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Tomorrow I preach on the topic of “Spiritual Warfare”, not a favorite topic at all, because I think I see so much misunderstanding of it.

The first reaction when it is mention is “gung ho!”  Let’s go attack the hordes that would tear down and destroy the church!  Let’s go to war with sin and sinners and if God is with us, we shall surely wipe them out!  ( Depending on the time period, this is either burning them at the stake or forcing them to submit and tap out because of our superior logic and strength! )The church militant, misapplied!  The other reaction is the one that heeds “discretion is the better part of valor” and high-tales at speeds reminiscent of of the USS Enterprise at the sight of Evil, or an encounter with the demonic.  (btw – I highly recommend the latter if you resonate with the first – check out the sons of Sceva!)

But the answer, seriously is found in the quote above.  Sanctity, Holiness, the struggle, the battle to cling to that which kindled our lives and set us ablaze.  Ablaze to the point where our lives become living sacrifices, not on the battlefront, but in serving others.  I love how Fr. Escriva talks of God burning us down to the last shred – and in places of great humility or honor – but to the last shred in either place.  Being willing to follow God where ever He leads – no matter the personal cost.   As I’ve mentioned before – holiness isn’t an attitude – it isn’t some smug feeling that I am purer than those others. It is gratitude that despite my impurities, God has called and cleansed me and given me a vocation – several vocations, where He has put me – not to glorify myself – but to reflect His love to a broken world.  With that gratitude comes a sense of joy and fulfillment that only comes when we walk with Jesus throughout out lives.  For it is God, the Holy Spirit – that continues to kindle and stoke our fires – that bring people before us, who need, desperately need to know the love and healing that comes from being in Christ.

The struggle of holiness of being sanctified isn’t about preservation, or about becoming pure and devout.  It just isn’t.  Those are side effects of being in the glory of God, sharing a life of ministry in vocations that God has called us to, and accompanies us on the journey, as we our hearts burn, as He reveals His love and mercy poured out on us.

So hear His voice, walk with Him in His glory, as He loves, guides, purifies you… His children!

AMEN

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on September 1, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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