Throughout the month of January, many of you participated in New Start 15. We looked at the benefits of holiness, God’s call to us to be holy, and ways we can practically live it out in our day to day lives.
In case you missed it, here’s a quick list of the New Start 15 components/resources. They will remain available so you can review, do it again, or go through it for the first time, any time:
- New Start 15 Invitation
- New Start 15 Bible Reading Plan
- New Start 15 Blog Schedule (includes all direct links)
- New Start 15 Suggested Resources
- New Start 15 Contributor List
- New Start 15 Pinterest Board
Even with all this, we just scratched the surface. The goal of the emphasis was not that we would have all “arrived” on day 15, but that we would be firmly, solidly committed to pursue holiness for a lifetime.
Remember, only the Holy Spirit can transform us, but He won’t do it without our obedient cooperation. Here are 6 practical actions we can practice on an ongoing basis to foster continued growth in holiness.
- Practice an awareness of the presence of God – We know from the Bible that God is always with us. He sees everything we do and knows our thoughts, attitudes, and motivations. Purposefully remembering this truth and disciplining ourselves to regularly think about Him will nourish holiness in our lives.
- Stay in the Word – The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself, His will, and His ways to us in the Bible. It describes the holy life to which God calls us. But we cannot live by God’s Word unless we know God’s Word. Reading and studying the Bible will plant God’s truth in our hearts.
- Be proactive in our battle against sin – Sin takes root in our lives, growing and multiplying. To be holy, we must dig it out by the roots and get rid of it. Ask God to also help you recognize areas of weakness in your life so you can guard against potential sin.
- Respond quickly to the Spirit – Have you ever responded to the prompting of the Spirit with “in a minute?” I certainly have. If you’re a parent, you understand that “delayed” obedience is simply disobedience. Sometimes, we even intend to obey – later. Unfortunately, our delayed obedience causes us harm and dishonors God. We may miss out on God’s best plan for us or even put ourselves in danger. Immediate obedience is always best!
- Make the most of trials – God uses persecution for the sake of Christ and the common trials of this life to refine our faith and shape our character. If we fight Him in the process rather than lean on Him, trust His love, and follow His guidance we can waste much of what He wants to do.
- Keep an eternal perspective – If we allow the things of this physical world to dominate our thoughts and priorities, the temporal will drive our emotions and responses. But if we stay focused on God’s bigger, eternal picture we will be able to reject sin and stand firm in trials.
Although not an exhaustive list, if we continuously and purposefully pursue these six practices, God will have access to do His work in our lives.
My prayer for all of us is that God will continue to transform us into the image of Christ with “ever-increasing glory” (1 Corinthians 3:18). May our lives reflect His holiness and point a lost world to the Living Savior.