Thursday, May 26, 2016

The High Calling to Holiness


I Thessalonians 4:3,7 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication…for God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

I will never forget when, as a seventeen-year-old, I heard a message here on the Ranch about surrender to the will of God. I decided that was exactly what I wanted. I was sitting in the "cheap seats" back about 30 rows, and I remember making a long walk to the front to pray with a counselor to surrender my life to whatever God wanted. Do you know God's will for your life? The problem with that question is that usually when we ask it, it is framed in terms of the story I just told. It is always about the future, the big things. Certainly God has an opinion about your future and a purpose for your life, but God's will is right here, right now. You are either in it or you are not.

Now to be in God's will does not mean that you know everything about the future. God's will for your life is more of a matter of your fellowship with Him than it is merely His plan for your future.

I Thessalonians 4 talks about the will and calling of God. Verse 3 says, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." So we know that God's will is for His people to live pure and clean lives before Him. Verse 7 says, "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." No calling of God, however noble, is higher than the call to holiness. No one believer is exempt from following this call.

I remember talking to a gentlemen about a preacher who had disgraced his family and ministry by living in sin. I am sorry to say that he lost his ministry. I remember this gentleman recounting that he had heard this preacher preach after he was guilty of this disgraceful sin but before he had been found out. My friend said, "Brother Wil, even then he preached with such power." No, he did not! That preacher may have had talent and charisma, but he did not have the power that God wishes to give you through a pure life.

Your calling and enabling, what you do with your life, is mighty important, but nothing is more important than what you are doing right now. God's will for me is to be honest, to love my wife, to treat others how I should, to give the gospel, and to be in fellowship with Him. I don't have to wait five years to know these things. I can do them now. If I will do these things now, I can know God's specific plan, will, and calling for my life every step of the way. The call of God is a call to holiness, and that is a call to live in practice what I am by position, a man set apart to God.

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