These 40 Days of Holiness have been a LEARNING experience for me. God has revealed things to me that I need to change in my personal life, those little things that hurt me Spiritually. It's easy to become content in your walk with the Lord and your prayer life and expect Him to do a mighty work in and through you, but He has shown me that He was not content until Hell was totally conquered and even now He intercedes for us daily (Romans 8:34). He did that for me, and that reminds me that our reasonable service is to give our all every single day to and for Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
A couple of weeks ago I preached from Hebrews 12:14 which says, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." Today I learned the importance of pursing peace with all people as a part of our journey toward holiness. God afforded me the opportunity to heal a wound with some old friends. It is great to laugh and smile again with the same people that many years ago the conversations grew so intense. I believe it was helpful for them, I know it was helpful to me. Forgiveness and restoration are essential to worship and cleansing (Matthew 5:24).
Thank you Lord for your healing power. Please help me to pursue peace with others.
I am learning the importance of prayer if we are to have any chance of living a holy life. Last week, while on vacation, I began reading a book entitled Prayer, Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard Foster. I am about half way through the book at this point. From what I have read so far, it has been very helpful and I would highly recommend it.
One of our members sent me a drawing that expresses how God is dealing with him during these 40 days of holiness. When you look at it, you really get a sense of what is going on inside of him. You can see in him a real desire to live holy, a sense of conviction, and his struggle against sin. The photo can be found in our photo album, or by entering the link below on your browser address bar, just copy and paste it:
I have not done anything particularly unusual during this time other than spend more of my prayer time in silence and reflection, stillness.
Ironically, after my prayer time this morning I was reading in I Corinthians 2 in preparation for tomorrow night's Bible study. There Paul writes in verses 10 and 11, "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God." Those verses referenced in my mind back to Romans 8:26-27, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
I think part of being holy is to know the deep things of God as revealed to us in His Word through His Spirit. God is holy. Surely nothing can further my path towards holy living than knowing God. What a paradox, that spiritually, stillness stifles staleness. Still waters are sometimes deep!