Lately my life has been very full, so whoever said that things slow down after the holidays – well they we wrong, at least in my case. In the last few weeks life has been very busy. Busy with greats things and busy with hard things as well. It has been filled with joy and excitement. It has also been filled with heartache and pain. And that my friends is what we call life, right?
So how does one who claims to be on mission with God, stay focused on pursuing the holiness of God when their life is always full and busy? With all that this world demands of us – from being a parent & raising a family, to running a business or managing a team – with all that is coming our way and with all that we must do each day, how do we avoid living a life that is absent of a daily pursuit of the holiness of God?
Brennan Manning writes:
“Since the day that Jesus first appeared on the scene, we have developed vast theological systems, organized worldwide churches, filled libraries with brilliant christological scholarship, engaged in earthshaking controversies, and embarked on crusades, reforms and renewals. Yet there are still precious few of us with sufficient folly to make the mad exchange of everything for Christ; only a remnant with the confidence to risk everything for the gospel of grace; only a minority who stagger about with the delirious joy of a man who found buried treasure.”
Is my life – is your life, the right response to a daily pursuit of the holiness of God? Are we apart of a remnant that has the confidence to risk everything in this busy life, for more intimacy with God? The simply answer might be: pray more! Or another one might be: read your Bible more! And although those are good things to do, do they really make us more holy? Do they really give us the confidence we need to “risk everything for the gospel of grace”? Doing more, probably won’t make us any more confident. And doing more, won’t really bring us more and lasting freedom either.
Between our hearts and God, there is a huge disconnect. I see it all the time. In college students trying to work and go to school. In single parents, trying to work and raise their family. In the business owner and this guy – right here! We think that since we are busy being parents, or being leaders at our job or in our community, and that if just stay busy enough that then we will accomplish great things in our lives – and perhaps even for God. Now don’t get me wrong, God wants us to be faithful to our spouse and love them relentless. God wants us to humbly serve Him in whatever capacity He has called us to. But we cannot neglect the former – a daily pursuit of the holiness of God – we cannot neglect the former and hope to achieve the greater – risking it all for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is a holiness issue. We have lost what it means to pursue the very holiness of God for our lives.
I follow a group called Renovaré USA on a social media site. Today they posted a prayer of St. Augustine that helped me gain some much needed perspective. In the midst of trying to manage my stuff, in the midst of trying to do all that is before me – there came this simple reminder through a prayer of St. Augustine:
“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.”
Being busy, will always be there. There will always be an e-mail to write, a phone call to make, a card to send, a person to help, a need to meet. There will always be something that will demand our attention. If I get caught up in meeting that need, then we will always feel consumed with being busy. We will also then be more concerned about doing things, then being truly connected to God in vibrant and intimate ways. When we pursue the holiness of God, it transforms our prayer life. It brings wisdom and power to what we encounter in the Word of God and it gives us the right perspective to handle the things we face throughout each day.
How is that possible? It is possibly through God’s grace for us as our focus is on Him, first.
When I do pray, I want that time with the Lord to be real and sincere. When I do spend time in His Word, I want the truth of God to explode within me. So excuse if I say no to you – to the demands of this world – to spend more focused time on the feeding of my soul. Excuse me if I don’t sign-up for everything or help with every project that comes before me. I don’t do it to be mean. I don’t do it to be selfish. I do it with a purpose – so that God may truly impact my life in every way possible first, so that I may be able to truly represent, with all the courage I can gather the power and holiness of the gospel of God’s grace – first in my home and then throughout the rest of my life.
May we purpose with great passion and strong conviction to seek out true intimacy with God each day Blocking out, or putting away the negative and false things from others that we face while remembering that it has always been and always will be about Jesus and our focused pursuit of intimacy with Him. May you find the freedom to say no to things of this world that are robbing you, so that you can you truly and fully say yes to a genuine pursuit of the holiness of God in your life that will have radical and profound implications on all that you do and say.