After an extended hiatus that required me to make several discoveries about myself, I sit in my favorite small town diner and type my thoughts for the first time in almost two years. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I’m 1/3 of the way through my first book and I have a tiny following of this little blog that was put out weekly (or at least that was the attempt). But that all came screeching to a halt. Trying to work two full time jobs in Tennessee, leaving those jobs and moving 650 miles away from everyone I’ve ever known, then trying to lead a brand new ministry while navigating a global pandemic left me with little time to do the things that made me happy- things that God has given me the gift and desire to do. The problem is, my pursuit changed- I pursued work and busyness.
We are all in pursuit of something. Each and every day, we get out of our beds, go to work or school or whatever the day holds and we pursue something. That pursuit could be status, money, fame, accolades, trophies, or like me, a busy schedule because I do not want to be seen as lazy. While the pursuit of those things in and of themselves is not necessarily a bad thing, an improper motive for those things can lead to disaster. There is nothing inherently wrong with working hard, providing for a family, or being competitive and wanting to succeed. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to build a good life for yourself. The thing that I would encourage us all to look at though, is the context of our pursuits.
In our pursuits, are we ultimately pursuing holiness? First and foremost, if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, I urge you from the bottom of my heart to pursue a life surrendered to Christ and I would love the opportunity to share that with you. For those that know Him as Lord, we are called to a life pursuant of holiness. Now, let’s be frank, we are not going to achieve holiness this side of eternity, but the Bible is clear on our mandate to be pursue holiness. It says:
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.1 Peter 1:13-16
It’s not a call to be good- it is a call to be holy, to be Christ-like. When we pursue Christ, we change the way we pursue all of those other things. We give more, we love deeper, we share openly, we use our influence differently. In a nutshell, our motives shift from glorification of self to glorification of Christ. We won’t do it perfectly, we will mess it up.
So, why pursue something that we cannot achieve? The answer to that requires us to re-examine our view of the pursuit. The pursuit of holiness is about obedience, not results. This is not a result oriented command, it is about our obedience to follow a path God has set before us. God knows we will fall short (He’s been dealing with that from us for a long time now). God wants us to be obedient to pursue holiness. The pursuit, even though it will not be completed this side of eternity, will bring us closer and closer to reflecting Him in all we do. Can you imagine the change this world would see if those that follow Him actively lived their lives in pursuit of His holiness? Can you imagine a world where those who don’t know Christ look into the faces and lives of those who do and see a complete reflection of the one who offers hope, love, and salvation? That’s a world I so long to see.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach