Sunday, September 6, 2020

When God Asks Us To Do What Seems Impossible - Be Holy As He is Holy

"A Message from the high and towering God,
    who lives in Eternity,
    whose name is Holy:
“I live in the high and holy places,
    but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed,
And what I do is put new spirit in them,
    get them up and on their feet again..."
Isaiah 57:15-21 The Message Bible

 We just returned home from vacation. While gone, we listened online to the messages from the guest speakers who filled in for my pastor/husband. One of the speakers, in talking about God's desire for His church to grow in Christlikeness and maturity read 1 Peter 1:16, "Be holy, for I am holy." Here's how Eugene Peterson translates that passage in the Message Bible, "As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy." But then, I kept reading, "You call out to God for help and He helps-He's a good Father that way. But don't forget, He's also a responsible Father and won't let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God." I found this so encouraging. When I read, "Be holy, for I am holy" without the context found in the verses following as well as in the rest of the Bible, I feel like God is asking me to do something without showing me how-asking me to do something impossible. But in context, I realize that there is nothing that God asks us to do without giving us His empowering grace to do it. He truly is a good Father and we can call out to Him for His help and know that He will hear us and help us.

This morning I read Isaiah 57 and was stopped in my tracks by verses 15-21. We do serve a high and holy God. When He tells us to be holy as He is holy, instead of feeling like it's a call for us to climb and strive to reach some impossible standard, this verse reminds us that He stoops low, breathes His Spirit into us, picks us up from our fallen, broken state, and helps us all along our journey to holiness, to wholeness, to completeness in Him. Oh, friends, doesn't that fill you with hope? Perhaps, it's the thought that God is asking us to do the impossible that keeps us from pursuing growth, maturity, wholeness and holiness. Yes, God doesn't want us to live lazy, apathetic, sloppy Christian lives. But the secret to victory in our pursuit of God and His holiness is not in our striving but in our humility, in admitting our brokenness and desperate need for help to Him. Then, like a good Father, He scoops us up, cleans us up, and helps us on our journey to those high and holy places where He dwells. What a beautiful truth that is and what a good Father He is to us.


  1. So loved reading your words and scripture this morning. Been bit down about if I'm really a Christian and doing it well so your words were soothing to read, and to know it's okay to let him know how we feel at times. Thanks so much. Glad you had a nice vacation. After all that's been this year, nice to get away. I definitely need one so maybe. :)

  2. God sees your heart that loves Him even when you struggle or stumble. He loves you, so, and hears your cries for His help.

  3. I love those words: a life shaped by God’s life. We don’t have to live God’s life or even a life just like God’s life. We could never be so perfect. We are to be pulled to live our own lives shaped by God’s life....and remember that he is always there to help us and to guide us.


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