Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’re all aware of these great words written in our Declaration of Independence. They are words we take to heart and fight to the death to protect. But have you ever wondered where happiness is to be found? I suggest it won’t be found in the places you’re most likely to be looking.
Holiness is the thing about God that makes Him most “God”. It is the attribute of His character that we are commanded to be – YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY – 1 Peter 1:16. When we understand what holiness is and how we are to pursue it as Christians, we begin to experience happiness. Why? Because happiness is a byproduct of holiness. Therefore, happiness cannot – and should not – be pursued in and of itself. All such pursuits will disappoint.
It occurred to me that many – if not most – of my clients struggle with their pursuit of personal holiness. In coaching them toward the goals they desire to accomplish and believe to be consistent with God’s call on their life, personal holiness is a key factor. Too many Christians make the false assumption that “living by faith” means that God will take care of everything. Meaning, they bear no personal responsibility or accountability in living their Christian life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Pursuit of a Lifetime
The pursuit of personal holiness is one that takes a lifetime to accomplish. Even then, at the end of life, we have not fully reached our goal. Only when we stand before God in Christ – fully leaning on the cross of redemption and the blood of Jesus – will we be glorified. Glorification is the final phase (justification, sanctification, glorification) of our salvation. It is the reward for which we long to receive and the hope we have confidence in (1 Peter 1:13).
Over the next several podcasts, we will take an in-depth look at holiness, its pursuit, and rewards. This series will be based loosely on Jerry Bridges’ book The Pursuit of Holiness.