I am reading a new book by Kevin DeYoung entitled The Holy In Our Holiness and it is making me think and underline and circle and highlight – and bringing conviction too.
“There is the reality that holiness is plain hard work, and we’re often lazy.”(pg 19)
As singles, how can we pursue holiness? We often live alone, don’t have real accountability, and are prone to distance ourselves from some people.
1. Desire closeness. This not only applies to closeness with God; but also desire closeness with people. I would suggest you have females (or males, if you are a male) in your life. Tell them to ask you the hard questions – and not leave out any area in your life. This is hard, but so worth it.
2. Read and love. Don’t just read the Bible – know and grasp its imperatives and indicatives. Love the gospel. But, also know that God says “Be holy as I am holy.” Love this – but don’t strive for it without the gospel.
I could go on, but this is only a midweek post and should be short!
Posted in Purpose
Tagged bible, closeness, desire, God, Gospel, hard questions, highlight, holiness, holy, Kevin DeYoung, lazy, love, people, Pursuing Holiness, The Holy In Our Holiness
When some people think of idols, they may think of the statue gods that are worshipped in the Old Testament. However, “No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern-Day Idols,” by Kelly Minter gives a fresh perspective to idolatry, and reveals what idols today could be hindering one’s relationship with the Lord. This book is challenging for believers and non-believers alike. For the non-believer, it teaches about the one true God and how how there is no other god but Jesus Christ. For the believer, it helps remind us of what things in our life have been made more important than our relationship with God.
At the beginning of the book, Kelly describes a visit she had to a museum, and how one stone statue caught her eye. She immediately questioned how people could put trust and belief into a stone. That is when the Lord revealed to her that she does it all the time, just with different things. Minter states, “If I could display the images that splashed through my mind, you would have seen that statue turn into familiar faces from my life, career paths, and dreams. Not necessarily bad things, just things that had become detrimental because I had exalted them as gods, things that I believed could bring me life.”
One of my favorite parts in the book was when Kelly told the stories of Leah and Rachel who were two sisters from the Bible. Leah spent her life trying to gain the affections of Jacob because she continually felt unloved and wanted the kind of affection from him that Rachel had. However, Rachel spent her life discontent because she wanted lots of kids like Leah had, and lived her life jealous and unsatisfied because that desire was not fulfilled (to read more of Rachel and Leah’s story go to Genesis 29:31-30:24). The desire to be loved by a husband or a desire for children are not bad desires, and ones that all women can relate to. Although, when such desires are our primary source of satisfaction then they become false gods that never satisfy. Throughout the book, Minter helps readers recognize what these false gods are in their life and then draws them to the ultimate source of satisfaction which is Jesus Christ.
I highly enjoyed reading this book, and was challenged greatly. Kelly wrote in such a way that made me feel I was sitting and having coffee with her discussing God and life. It was hard in parts because it convicted me of things in my life that I had made into idols, but helped grow my relationship with the Lord tremendously. As mentioned earlier, our idols may not be bad in and of themselves, but anything that is elevated and made more important than Christ is considered a false god. Some examples in your life could be relationships, family, financial security, private hopes and dreams, etc; but as John Calvin states, “The evil in our desire typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want it too much.” Take some time today and ask the Lord to show you what things in your life that you are putting before Him and allow your relationship with Him be the most important thing in your life above all else.
For more information on Kelly Minter and to purchase this book, visit her website here.
Posted in Book Reviews
Tagged children, desire, false gods, God, hope, husband, Idols, Jesus, Kelly Minter, life, Old Testament, stone
One of my favorite verses in the Psalms is Psalm 37:4, which states, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Many think this means that God will give them what they personally desire. However, what the verse really means is that when we seek the Lord and make Him our everything, He will give us His desires.
Although, if we are honest, that is not what we like to hear at times. We think God should give us what we want, at the time that we want it. We want God to send us our future spouse now, get the job we want now, or to be healed of a sickness now. None of those examples are bad desires, and are God given ones, but where we so often miss the mark is when we put those desires before our desire for Jesus Christ.
As I was reading this verse the other day I was convicted that I too often get wrapped up in what I want instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus and simply asking, “What do you want from me today Lord, show me your desires.” It’s a choice we have to make daily. Are we going to delight in the Lord and seek His face because we love what He loves, or are we going to continue to dwell on our wants?
God wants the best for His children and He doesn’t want to withhold any good thing from us (Psalm 84:11). However, He wants us to seek Him first and trust Him to do what He thinks is best. When we do that our desires will be His, and only then will we truly be content. Who are you delighting in today? Yourself or Jesus? Spend some time with the Savior and ask, “What do you want for me Jesus?”
Photo taken from Pinterest.