“The most wonderful secret of living a holy life does not lie in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfect qualities of Jesus exhibit themselves in my human flesh” – Oswald Chambers
“Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ to me”. This is how Oswald describes the holy life – the journey of growing in holiness and Christ likeness. It isn’t about what we bring to the equation. In truth, we are often the barrier. We block the life of Jesus in us; preventing Him from shining through.
We talked about one of those blockers yesterday at church. Our pastor spoke truth on forgiveness – its significance to Jesus, and the implications to us when we refuse to forgive. The sermon ended with an opportunity to light a tea candle and place it on a large Cross in the center of the sanctuary. This action signified our desire to take a step toward forgiveness. I was personally grateful for the timing of this message, and for our faithful pastor who delivered it.
Someone asked me later, but what about forgiving yourself? How do you do that? I’ve been thinking about her question, and the similar struggle I see in my own life – to forgive myself. I think one of the hardest parts is coming to terms with our own failures, weaknesses, ignorance, and rebellion. In truth, we are mortified with ourselves once God begins to illuminate our minds with understanding. We have to come to grips with the fact that it is not what we bring at all. There is nothing we can or could ever bring. There is no way to make up for, or compensate for, the past. We can only bring our broken selves before Holy God in repentance and rest.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”
We can only receive the holy life of Jesus into our own. Jesus became sin for us so that in Him we become the righteousness of God. To impart means, “To give a part of”. Jesus has given Himself for us, and to us. The Holy Spirit is the imparted gift of God, given to all who believe. Not just those who know this truth. He is Truth, and He is within you. He is the deposit and guarantee that we belong to God, and we have embarked on this holy journey of letting Him come through our own broken, messed up lives.
I have a visual in my mind to illustrate the holy life. Do you remember the toy, Lite Brite, from when you were a kid? I see us like that black paper used to cover the grid. The dark paper blocks the light. The only way to bring forth the light was to poke holes through the black paper with the colored pegs. I see the spiritual disciplines, or the things we can do, as the colored pegs, i.e. Bible study, prayer, worship, solitude, fasting, Christian fellowship, etc. These practices open us to God, beyond ourselves. They connect us with His presence, which is already there inside of us. The colorful pegs press through our darkness and let His light out. The light illuminates the pegs, creating a vibrant, multi-hued image. This is the beauty of Christ’s holy and indestructible life shining through!
I figured if Forrest Gump can claim that life is like a box of chocolates, I can assert that the holy life is like a Lite Brite. Simplistic yes, but makes the point. The holy life is not about modeling or emulating Jesus. The holy life is the out working of the actual, embodied life of Jesus Christ in you.
“Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Holy, Holey, Holy: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14, 15).
Let His Light shine brite.