“The essence of true holiness consists in conformity to the nature and will of God.”
A friend explained that when she buys something at a second hand store labeled “as is” she realizes she may be buying something with defects. Our salvation is similar, in that God paid the exorbitant price of His Son’s life to purchase each of us “as is,” flaws included.
The morning after the conversation with my friend, the Father spoke these words to me. May they resonate within your heart. Come as you are. That’s all I’ve ever wanted, all I’ve expected. My perfection paid the price for your imperfection. Yes, I desire holiness but that too is a process, not something I expect immediately. You grow into holiness over time as your love for Me deepens. It’s not what I require in order to have relationship with Me. It is though, what I desire so we can be more intimate. Just as you wouldn’t expect a six-month-old to walk, neither do I expect immediate holiness.
What’s more important is our relationship and being together, just like it is for a parent to be with their child. They enjoy their presence not because the child is perfect or obedient but because they belong to them. I feel the same way about all my children. They delight Me because they’re mine, not because they perfectly obey Me.
I want My children to be obedient because it’s for their best interest. Obedience is more for their sake than for Mine. Where there’s sin, there’s destruction and pain. Choosing holiness is for their benefit, protection, joy, and peace. The end result of holiness is a closer relationship with Me.
Yes, when I bought you with My blood, I knew I was getting you “as is” – with all your imperfections, messes, and idols. But I knew who you would one day become. I’m willing to wait, because who I’ve created you to be is worth the wait. I find delight in watching you mature and grow into holiness as a result of your love for Me.
Our desire for holiness stems from our love and reverence for God. “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Come as you are to God, but let your ever-increasing love for Him propel you to grow into holiness.
“Holiness is not the laborious acquisition of virtue from without, but the expression of the Christ-life from within.”
What one thing can you do this week to grow in your holiness?