“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, ESV).
God asks us to be holy because He is holy (see 1 Peter 1:16). Often, we tend to read that wrong, with the idea that if we do everything as good as we can – I mean, after all, we’re only human, right? – that God will bless us. Unfortunately, that is a mindset that is consistent with operating under the Old Testament Law. Held to that standard, doing the best we can will never measure up.
The good news is, because Jesus came and actually fulfilled all the requirements of the Law; because His blood has been shed for our sinfulness, even though we still struggle with sin, we may now come into the presence of God who sees what Jesus did on our behalf, as a believer in Christ.
When I prepare to minister to my congregation, I have been guilty on many occasions of thinking, “I’ve done pretty good this week; I’ve read my Bible enough, I think I’ve prayed enough, I’ve tried to minister to the people God has given me enough… when I step into the pulpit in those terms, I will more than likely preach my worst message because I am attempting to minister based on my own goodness, rather than Jesus’ goodness.
I have also found – usually through the school of hard knocks – that even if I haven’t lived up to what I consider a holy standard for myself, I may step into the pulpit and preach under the anointing if I have acknowledged that I can’t do anything apart from Him and I fully rest whatever efforts solely on His grace and mercy. Those are the times I’ve seen God move the most in the lives of people.
The reason I must live a holy life is so that I don’t give Satan an inroad into my life. You and I cannot afford to allow Satan to have access into our homes; our marriages, the lives of our children, our finances and our churches. Living a holy life doesn’t earn anything from God but it allows our conscience to be free from sin and removes a weapon that Satan may use against us.
If you feel like the “Low and despised in the world” (see the above passage), it simply means you are not attempting to rely on your own talents and abilities. The lowly and despised will usually experience the power of God more in their lives because they are not depending on their own power. That’s why people in Africa tend to experience healings and miracles more than we do in the west; they don’t have drug stores on every corner. They have no choice but to rely on Jesus.
No matter which side of the track you live on, trust in Jesus’ holiness and not your own. He is no respecter of persons and you too, will see His blessing on your life.
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Rob Granger is Senior Pastor of Faith Harbor Church, a non-denominational church that meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Escondido Columbus Hall, 515 W. Valley Parkway. His wife, Becky, serves as Co-Pastor. Videos of Pastor Rob’s sermons can be seen on YouTube by typing faith harbor church escondido ca in the YouTube search box. Visit fhcescondido.com for information about Faith Harbor Church.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.