Today my friend Taylor Flatt is sharing what God has been teaching her on holiness. The Scripture we are focusing on today is 1 Peter 1:13-21. Read more of Taylor’s writing here! Her heart for the Lord and love for Jesus is contagious!
I’ve had a lot of conversations recently with people about what it means to live radically. We desperately want to live radically for Jesus, but how do you live radically in a normal life? How do I, as a 21 year old college student, wake up everyday, go to class, go to work, spend time with my friends, and be radical for Jesus?
Well, I think the answer to the question lies in understanding what it means to pursue holiness.
God commands us to “be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Just as God is holy and set apart, we are also called to be set apart because we are His people. God calls us a holy nation, a chosen generation.
We are called to be different. And not just a little different.
But being radically different doesn’t just start with the big things like moving to another country to share the Gospel. Some of the most radical ways that we can pursue holiness are in the small choices that we make everyday, the ones that we think aren’t a big deal.
Examples of holiness and living radically are found in the details of our everyday lives.
Pursuing holiness means talking differently than the rest of the world. It means letting no unwholesome talk come out of our mouths except for what is useful for building up others (Ephesians 4:29). Why? Because we are setting ourselves apart.
Pursuing holiness looks like dressing differently than the rest of the world. It means dressing modestly and not continuously pushing the limits. Why? Because it sets us apart. (Do we, women of God, truly dress more modestly than the rest of the world? Could you pick us out as different, say, on a beach? Or do we only measure the length of our shorts and pull out our one pieces and tankinis in time for church camp?)
Pursuing holiness also means being sensitive to what we are watching and listening to and reading. Why? Because we truly want whatever we think about to be lovely and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8) so that we can know Jesus more.
It’s all of those things and so much more.
Pursuing holiness and having a radical faith isn’t just taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth or facing persecution in the name of Jesus (though that is certainly radical!) But having a radical faith is looking radically different from the rest of the world in the name of Jesus by striving everyday, in our everyday choices, to become more like Jesus. This is what pursuing holiness is- it’s hating the sin in our lives that keeps us from knowing Jesus more and pursuing Him!Pursuing holiness is how we pursue Jesus!
But somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten about this. Rarely anymore does our generation talk about pursuing holiness. We almost seem to fear pursuing holiness. We don’t want to seem “holier than thou” in our attitude. We don’t want to offend people, especially other Christians. It seems as though we’ve pushed the pursuit of holiness to the side because of a fear of legalism.
But pursuing holiness isn’t legalistic because our true pursuit of holiness reminds us daily how much we need grace. And thank the Lord we have the grace we desperately need to continue pursuing Jesus and pursuing holiness every time we fail. Because we will fail. A lot. But that’s the Gospel.
And we share the Gospel with our actions when we are set apart from the world. When we are different people start asking questions. No one will believe that the Gospel has the power to change lives if your life looks the same as theirs. The Gospel is radical. And the Gospel in you makes you radical.
So don’t buy into the lie that we have to fit into the world in order to share the Gospel with the world. The enemy loves that lie. We are aliens! We are ambassadors! We are called to love the people of this world but we aren’t loving anyone if we aren’t showing them a Gospel that is life changing. The Gospel is offensive. Living radically and pursuing holiness is offensive. And sometimes it will even offend other believers. But we cannot fear offending people with living out the Gospel in a radical and holy lifestyle or we will miss out on the abundant life Jesus has for us. Loving the world means taking a stand against sin, especially the sin in our own lives.
So what are you willing to risk to have a radical faith?
Let’s take up our crosses and pursue holiness everyday so that we can know Jesus more and more and more and more. He is so worth it.
What did God teach you today in His Word? We would love to hear! Comment below or share on social media using #LLB1Peter, #lifelivedbeautifully and/or #givemeJesusjournal.