By Patty Brown
Be holy, because I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16b NIV
For most of us, when we think of the word “holiness”, we’re quick to make a list of do’s and don’ts in our mind and then determine whether we fit the bill based on our list.
As I reflect on “holiness” and how to pursue it, as I’m called to do in Scripture, God encourages me to surrender!
What role does surrender play? For me, it means raising the white flag to God not only in areas of personal comfort, but in places of pain and hurt where I resist giving Him access. I decide to give God full control and allow Him, through the power of His Spirit, to change me from the inside out – submitting every area of my life.
In reality , He already has all the control, but when we consciously and courageously place our lives under His authority (acknowledge Him as Lord, not just Savior), we extinguish the demanding pressure of “doing the do’s and not doing the don’ts.” We begin to live in freedom from guilt and pride. Righteous living simply becomes an overflow of our relationship with Jesus. When we spend time with Him through His Word, it is not part of accomplishing a perceived list of “holiness-making.”
Still, surrender is not easy and doesn’t come naturally.
I’m learning daily to surrender my children to the Lord–my teenager and all the pressures she faces in today’s world, and my special needs daughter with the myriad of obstacles she endures just to live a life of “normalcy.” When I surrender them to the sovereignty of God and His plan, I learn to rest in Him. You will too. When we rest and trust in His love for us, we desire more of Him… as we pursue Him, we pursue His holiness.
So, join me as I raise my white flag to Jesus! Let’s resist the urge to fight for control in our lives and submit ourselves to the One Who loves us unconditionally and pursues us relentlessly. Then, we will be holy, as He is holy.