Tag Archives: unsullied

What if I stumble?

Do you remember that song by DC Talk?

What if I stumble
What if fall?
What if I lose my step
And I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue
When the walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble,
And what if I fall?

When I was a teen, I loved that song because it gave me a sense of purpose in trying so hard. These days I still like the song, but for different reasons.

I've quit trying so hard, sort of. In my love and study of philosophy. I've spent some time studying humility and pride. Often in our guilt after messing up, we come to God and tell him how awful we are and how horribly we've missed the mark. And in the process we beat ourselves up thinking we're being humble. Truthfully, that's just prideful. Believing that we can do it on our own is pride.

God knows we're human. He knows we will fall. On our own we can never make it. On our own we will never be worthy of Him. That's why He sent His Son.

On my own, I can't be holy. With Him, I can do anything. The key is how much I'm willing to give myself over to Him.

On my own, I can't resist temptation. Maybe I can for a little while, but eventually the enemy will wear me down, find a new soft point and beat me at my own game. But with Christ, oh man, with Him, I am an overcomer.

He is the One who resisted satan after 40 days of fasting. He is the One who resisted temptation to flee from the cup that God poured out on Him. He is the one who never quit, who never leaves, who never forsakes!

That is your God. He will sustain you if you are willing to give him everything that you are. I can't say that I succeed in that everyday, but I am willing to try. Are you?


Daily Acts of Discipline: Flossing

What? How does flossing my teeth help me on a quest to be holy?

It’s something I need to do, but I don’t always do it. For me, it’s usually not because I forgot, it’s because I’m too lazy. I stay up late watching TV, surfing the web or even doing some spiritual reading. Then, I think I’m too tired to floss my teeth. But last year I made a commitment to myself to floss my teeth every night. It seems small and stupid. For me, it’s become a small act of discipline that I can devote to God as worship. Yes, I’m saying that flossing your teeth can be an act of worship and prayer. How? I choose to make it one. My flesh is weak and often unwilling. I must train it and bring it under submission. I can choose a simple activity, that seems like it would be irrelevant to God, and make it something more – an offering of myself. Just like an athlete must condition their body, we all must condition our flesh. For you, it might be something else, for me it’s flossing. I was recently telling a friend about this, and a small truth came out. If you want to know how I’m really doing in my prayer life or just life in general? Don’t ask me how I am, ask me if I flossed my teeth last night.


ABC’s of Surrender: Attitude

A is for attitude. Lord, today I surrender my attitude to You. Sometimes I am haughty and prideful. Sometimes I'm down in the dumps. And I let those feelings dictate my attitude. Today, I choose to focus on the gift of Christ and let that inform my attitude. I have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. Without Him, I have noting, but with Him and in Him, I have everything. Today, I will act like it.

 


Quote of the Week: Friend of God

It's the middle of the week, a great time for some fuel from those who have gone or are going before us.

“May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.”

Eusebius, 4th century christian and Roman historian

 


I am on a quest

It’s a personal quest.  It’s also universal.

It is a quest for holiness – to live an unsullied life.

“Be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy.”  I Peter 1:16

“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

What does that mean?  How am I, a flawed human being living in a flawed world, supposed to attain the holiness and perfection of the Father?  How can I, a flawed person who sometimes acts like a jerk, misses the mark or just generally falls down, be holy?

I don’t think it’s an idle or flippant command.  I believe that the inspired word of God is that – inspired and the Word of God.  One translation of First Peter says, “You SHALL BE holy, for I am holy.”  It doesn’t sound like an option to me.  

So how do you and I obey this commandment?  How do we live holy lives?  In an age of moral decline and relativity, how do modern Christians live in the world but not of the world?

The name of this blog “Unsullied Holiness” comes from the following quote:

“We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives and ministries will be of such a radical and aggressive form as to work spiritual revolutions which will form eras in individual and church life.”
– E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

That is the type of separated life that I seek through this quest.  One of revolutionary zeal.

I don’t claim to have all of the answers or even any of the answers.  That’s why it’s a quest.  One filled with adventure, adversity and amazing hope.

Some days feel like an easy sprint on a warm spring day.  Others take every ounce of strength just to hold ground and not move backwards.  And sometimes it seems that we’ve fallen off the path altogether.  What causes me to fall may not be what causes you to fall, but we can both turn to the same Father of mercy and grace and hope as we make our way.

My goal is to stay on the path more than I fall, to move forward more than I stand still and to chronicle the journey.

I love to write, study and ponder, so this blog will be a combination of my own thoughts and prayers as well as those of others that I find inspiring along the way. 

I hope that you will find here words of challenge and encouragement and that together we can become a generation that seeks the path of unsullied holiness.  


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