In a world where it seems everyone is trying to find their identity or even more so figure out who or what they identity with. As if that really is the key to “who we are”. I love watching strong women barrel racing in a rodeo and secretly wish I could be like them. However, just because I identify with that and enjoy that, doesn’t mean that’s who I am or who I am supposed to be.
So then “Who am I?” What determines that? My desires, my passions or my strengths? Well for me, my identity is determined by The One who created me. I am broken and flawed and who I am changes with the wind or the next new fad that I can mimic. Instead of my relying on how I “feel” or “think”, I must rely on my Creator who will show me “who I am” and “what I was created for”.
Sounds good but how do you really do that? I go back to the original owners manual and ask “God, who am I supposed to be?” Well, the most repeated answer we will find in the Bible is “We are to be holy. As He is Holy.”
I know, I know...we are only human! God knows we are not capable of being holy...doesn’t He? Well, no, otherwise He wouldn’t repeat it over and over again throughout scripture. Here are two, of many profound verses regarding this:
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
Yes, Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses because He too was human. However, He still expects us to be Holy as He is Holy. And yes, we were made Holy through the blood He shed on the cross. This is called positional holiness, which is what sets us apart as children of God, but we are still called to be holy and to never stop striving for holiness.
For example, your children are your children through birth and nothing can change that, however, you still expect them to behave in a way that represents your family well. They may have your last name but they must also live out what your name stands for...what you expect of them as your children.
Yes, being holy is a very tall order! So it’s important to pray and look through scripture for practical ways to walk this out daily.
We start with really truly understanding that we really are Royal children of God. And as royalty, we are to live a life that sets us apart from the world, by living in a way that is noticeably different.
Yes, we will be ridiculed, chastised and rejected but isn’t that what we are taught the cost of following Christ will be? 1 Peter 4:12 tells us “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
So where do we even begin?
First, if you are a child of God you have the Holy Spirit working within you...equipping you. If God expects something from you, He will surely equip you to accomplish it. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
Secondly, and lastly, it starts by the choices we make daily. Asking ourselves at every turn “Is what I’m doing or about to do, think or say fitting for a royal and holy child of God?” The answer is either yes or no. “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10
Here are just a few of the many guidelines God gives us. However, if we are truly honest with ourselves...we sometimes already instinctively know but choose to make excuses or justifications for why “it’s really not that bad”.
“Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” Ephesians 5:4
“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
“Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Ephesians 5:6-8