"Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'"
|| 1 Peter 1: 13-16
I sat on the couch this morning, the one that looks out the window towards Seam Rock, and I opened my Bible to this passage. You know when you read something, and you can't quite get past it because the Lord is highlighting a certain something? Yep. That was this morning, as the sunlight streamed through the windows and I watched my mountains light up. I reread this passage at least ten times, each time exhaling slowly as I realized what this meant for today.
Today I have no excuse for living in my flesh. I have no reason to not walk in accordance to the Spirit.
The past week I was at a church camp in middle Tennessee. The theme was "Walk Worthy", and I don't think there was a moment where I wasn't being pressed and encouraged to do that very thing. Our youth pastor Joel Everest put it so well this way: "You were made worthy to walk worthy." What Jesus accomplished for us on the Cross and through His resurrection was not a license to sin. He purchased our freedom. Freedom to live the way for which we were created.
My week at camp has so many aspects to it I don't even know where to begin. The leaders were giving the full gospel of Christ Jesus, and asking us as students to truly count the cost of giving our lives to Him. Kids were getting saved, and getting baptized in the Holy Spirit. I felt like I was in 24/7 ministry: speaking prophetic words over other people, speaking about Jesus... it was such a rich (and exhausting!) week, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Yet I noticed something as the week came to a close, and we headed home. I was tempted to become annoyed with my siblings during our 18-hour road trip from Tennessee to Colorado. I wanted to shy back at the cash register and not say anything pertaining to the Gospel. I had had such boldness and faith at camp, and now I was tempted to hide the light that had been fanned into flame? What?
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" is the advice James gives us (James 4:7). Yes, temptation to go back to those things you once took part in (all manner of sin, lack of boldness, etc) is going to come. It will. Because the enemy won't just leave you alone in your pursuit of Christ. He's gonna come full force with anything to cause you to turn your gaze off of Jesus. He'll do anything – has done anything! – to make the children of God walk less than worthy of the calling in which they were called.
I went back to work on Monday morning. Though I was exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I asked the Lord, "Don't let what happened in me at camp stay at camp. Would you give me eyes to see the opportunities to share Your gospel today?" Within ten minutes of arriving to babysit the cutest little 1 1/2 year old ever, I was laying hands on my employer and asking God for her healing. The next day, she called me, not with an answered prayer request (which I'm still believing for!), but with the news that the baby was really sick and she didn't want me to come over. Immediately I asked, "Can I pray for her right now?" And so I did. I don't like to think of it all as me being some super Christian, praying for people left and right and sharing the Gospel, because honestly, those two prayers were some of the shakiest, wobbly prayers I've ever prayed. Not because I didn't believe, but just because I lost my voice and my words seemed to come out all jumbled. But God hears. He knows. And I believe He is faithful to keep His promises. He told me to knock, and so I did. Obey, even when you don't feel strong. His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
So resist the devil. Abide in Christ. He is holy, so walk worthy of Him. In Christ you are able to do all that He requires, because "what He demands, He supplies" (yet another fantastic quote from the week!). Isn't that so reassuring? What Jesus has called us to do and how He has called us to live, can only be done by His grace. So grab ahold of God! Petition Him for a baptism of the Holy Spirit, a baptism of His grace! It's the power to live worthy of Him! If you've been baptized with the Spirit, ask for more! All throughout this past week I was on my face asking for a continual and constant fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. Because we can't walk worthy without it. We can't live holy lives, denying the flesh and living alive to Christ, without Him. Why would we ever try on our own?
What Peter is talking about in 1 Peter 1: 13-16 is not a call to legalism. It's a cry for real Christianity.