We Are Called To A Higher Standard of Holiness

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9

Last week a popular gospel artist/preacher was criticized for her crass behavior on a live Periscope session. Viewers made the claim that the artist exposed her breasts while in bed, in which she appeared to be under the influence of some type of drug (she later proclaimed she had taken Benadryl). Interestingly, this is not the first time the singer has displayed wild behavior and speech on the popular Periscope platform. A few months ago, she made it apparent that she was intoxicated while engaging with viewers. I was dismayed when a minister said he was blocked by her during the last broadcast, when he commented, “Holiness is still right.”

I believe this young woman is immensely gifted but very likely in need of either conviction, intercession, deliverance, repentance, accountability, or probably all of these. When questioned about her conduct, the artist has defended herself by expressing that she wants her fans to see the real her, no matter what it looks like.  

Here is the problem with this type of mentality:

Yes, no one is perfect, and yes many people struggle with flaws or sin, but we absolutely CANNOT display ourselves in a manner, which could draw people AWAY from Christ. This is the bigger picture!  I don’t care how real, transparent, relatable, or “down” you want to appear – never do it at the expense of drawing people away from Christ. You can’t be a representative for Nissan, but want people to see how much you love Toyota. It doesn’t work!

In some cases, people’s behavior is a derivative of ignorance. But oftentimes, it is simply rooted in a lack of love and fear of God in their heart. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me (Matthew 15:8).

We cannot profess to be Christ followers, but resemble the world. No one can be drawn or won to the Lord if they are convinced that Christians are hypocrites, lukewarm, or carnal people. We don't need to give unbelievers another reason to not take the gospel seriously. This is one way people stay bound in their sins, and it also gives them a right to ridicule or mock Christians. I have prayed for the gospel artist mentioned above, and was glad to see Real Talk Kim (a beloved pastor & preacher based in Georgia), speak to her in love and in truth on the matter.  Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:16: 

 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

God’s light will have a hard time shining if we’re integrating with the darkness around us. This is why discipleship is important. You are to exemplify your Savior by the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Jesus cannot be gloried from unholy living on display in the life of a professing believer. I do not want to be judged by God for conducting myself in a way, which repels people from Christ!

We are held to a standard, as God commands us to be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16). What exactly does it mean to be holy? Stated in the Bible over 600 times, holiness means to be set apart, separate from sin and evil, belonging to God. It does not equate to perfection for us, but it does equate to righteousness and being filled of the Spirit. Living holy does not equate to boring either!

In Christ, we are promised an abundant life. Nothing sounds boring about an abundant life, and surely nothing sounds boring about eternal life! As sons and daughters of the Most High, holiness has to be your heart’s desire and when it is so, you mirror the Lord not just on Sundays, but Monday-Saturday as well. Jesus told his disciples, in order to follow Him, they have to deny themselves and pick up their cross. The flesh has to be crucified, and the Spirit magnified. As a peculiar people, we simply cannot stand out if we are blending in. But to even be a peculiar individual, you have to be born again. Anyone can claim to believe in Christ, but not everyone is born again.

If you truly desire to walk in Christ-likeness, you have to hate sin just as God hates sin – in addition to being knowledgeable of spirits, attitudes, beliefs, experiences, inner pains, etc. – that could certainly hinder you from attaining wholeness, a prerequisite for walking in holiness. Emotional wounds, false doctrine, ungodly spirits, and the like, must be dealt with in order for God’s holiness to be demonstrated. You may be saved, but salvation doesn’t mean you have gone through deliverance. Allow God to deliver and heal you from any ungodly/demonic strongholds or spirits such as sexual perversion/lust, pride, idolatry, fear, witchcraft, depression, un-forgiveness, trauma/shame from past abuse, generational curses, and so on.

Many churches and ministries take deliverance seriously – as it is certainly God’s will for us to be set free. You have the power and authority in Jesus to cast out any demons that have you bound. If you feel you don’t have the power, seek an individual who is Holy Ghost filled who will help deliver you! It is amazing how I have seen God deliver people just through Periscope and on the phone!

Through fasting and prayer, you will allow God the opportunity to reveal and expose to you the things in your life that may have you in bondage or in sin. You can totally trust God for healing and His ability to restore your heart, mind, and soul. But you cannot be afraid to tell someone about events or experiences that caused damage or brokenness. There’s no deliverance when secrets are kept. Furthermore, we must always possess a repentant heart when we do miss the mark.

Because I genuinely wish to be a new creature in Christ, I am no longer interested in fornicating, dressing scantily, going clubbing, using profanity, and watching porn. You are converted when you desire conversion. God will not sanctify you all by Himself. Moreover, when we are yielded to holiness, we are best able to be used by God. The anointing over your life will render you a more powerful and effective vessel in the earth.

Another thing we have to keep in mind, is that we must develop an understanding and love for the word of God to also walk in holiness. If we do not know our Creator intimately, we do not know how to replicate holiness in its fullness.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee

(Psalm 119:11)

Thus, the more we love God, the more we will yearn to please, honor, obey, and reflect Him! This doesn’t just mean in front of people, but privately as well. You could never fool God. He knows what you’re doing literally every second of the day. He wants to be honored even when no one is around. For example, we are not glorifying God when we indulge in shows or movies that glorify sin. You may be watching by yourself, but trust that God is watching with you. The same way He is watching if you masturbate, cheat, steal, etc. If you belong to the Lord, be consecrated unto the Lord!

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord

Hebrews 12:14

O gracious God. We bless you on this day. Lord we pray for our hearts to be postured towards You. Create in us a clean heart O God, to pursue holiness as we pursue You. Root out any ungodly seeds or residue that would hold us back from being pure and honorable in Your sight. God we pray for the strength and grace to press towards the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Forgive us Lord when we have stepped out of your will because of selfish desires or doubt. Pour out a fresh anointing, a fresh wind, a fresh fire, as we place our full hope and faith in You to do the miraculous and magnificent in our lives. Help us to look like You God in our words, our speech, our deeds, and our actions. Purify our thoughts O Lord. We want to carry Your glory wherever we go. May we decrease so You can increase. Cover us in the precious blood of the Lamb. We praise You, we exalt You, we thank You – in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen~


Connect with Crystal on Twitter @Christ_forYou

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal hails from Atlanta, GA. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She's a budding artist & designer, and aspires to inspire people to discover & experience the transformative power of Christ. She enjoys intellectual discourse, singing, the arts, learning, serving, cooking, and helping people fulfill their divine potential through God.