You talk about impossible tasks. Here are a few that are humanly impossible on your own, without help from anyone or any thing:
- Swim from California to Japan without stopping
- Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in one day
- Read 40,000 novels in one hour
- Live a life of perfect holiness
Yet, God calls us to holy living. He says it this way:
13 Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
No doubt your desires draw you away from holy living. Mine tug on me, and yours tug on you. They try to pull us down. But according to the Word of God (v14), we do not have to conform any long to the desires of our former way of life, the way we were before Jesus changed our lives. There is another way. There is a way to holy living, a life filled with love and joy and grace and hope and goodness and courage and everything God wants our lives to be.
God is holy. In verse 16, we are reminded that it is God Himself who is the Holy One. He is morally pure, perfect in every way. He always thinks the right thoughts, says the right things, feels the right emotions, and does the right things. He is so holy and so good that He is truly the picture of holiness, our example to follow, but humanly speaking we can never attain to His level of holiness. He is all-loving, all-joyful, all-caring and all-everything-that-is-good. And He calls us to be holy like He is holy. Wow.
God reveals the way to holiness. Through Jesus, God shows us the way to a holy life, but it may be different than what you are thinking. See, Jesus was not just a moral teacher who lived an exemplary life for us to try to follow. Rather, Jesus lived a perfect life, paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, and rose from the dead, and when we put our trust in Him as Lord and Savior of our life, He forgives our sin and fills us the Holy Spirit, thereby giving us the resources within us to live a holy life. Jesus lives through us, transforming us from from our old way of life to a life of holy living. It is not by striving that we attain holiness. It is by trusting in Jesus that we are made holy by God (clean, pure, forgiven) and by trusting in Jesus that we live holy lives.
Yes, you can be holy. In 1 Peter 1:13-16, we learn some important truths about holy living:
- Be focused — set your mind ready for action
- Be self-controlled –– be serious about living for Christ!
- Set your hope on God’s grace — trust in Jesus and His grace in your life; your hope for salvation and for holy living is found only in Him
- Be obedient — one day at a time, truly one moment at a time, ask Jesus to help you be obedient to Him with every word you say, every thought that you think, every emotion that you feel, every action you take (see John 15:1-17)
Being holy is impossible on your own, but with God all things are possible.
Be holy because He is holy.