Withdrawing and Holiness

While researching the work of the Holy Spirit for an upcoming high school lesson, I came across some notes from one of my college classes that caught my attention. When talking about the Holy Spirit’s work in sanctification, my notes say this:

The Old Testament saints had to use an artificial means for sanctification: withdraw fellowship from the pagans.

Obviously I had read this before, but it stood out to me today in light of some conversations I’ve had recently. Alongside this note, I wrote this:

no Holy Spirit to help overcome evil influences

(You have to forgive the bad grammar, as I was trying to take notes and pay attention to the professor.) Recently, I have had several conversations with people about what it means to live out one’s faith alongside those who do not believe. I have found that it is far easier for Christians to live in a “bubble” (surrounded by those who hold the same beliefs) than to live in the world. This mentality gets carried over into youth ministries, too.

Why do we carry this mentality with us?

  1. Do we forget we have the Holy Spirit with us?
  2. Are we not as close to God as we want people to think we are?
  3. Have we become too comfortable in the “bubble”?

As we look at Jesus’ life, we see that he spent a lot of time with those who were considered pagans. He ate with them, stayed in their homes, and listened and talked with them. Yet, one of the big reasons Jesus was able to do this was because he spent as much (if not more) time with his Father. Jesus knew the importance of connecting with God and staying connected to him. And so should we!

If withdrawing is your means of holiness, might I remind you that the Holy Spirit is in the business of helping you overcome evil influences. Might I remind myself of the same thing, too!


2 responses to “Withdrawing and Holiness

  1. Great thought: I just wrote about the same phenomenom here: http://www.adamlehman.us/2011/02/churchs-problem/

  2. We talked to about teens about this through 2 of our core values. But you are right it is all about the Holy Spirit.

    We Will Be Thick Skinned
    Rhino’s skin is 18-20mm thick and on their shoulder it is up to 45mm thick. We must be thick skinned so that we do not be consumed by the things of this world. (Matthew 13:22, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”)

    We Will Never Retreat
    The rhino’s knee does not bend in such a way for it to walk backwards, so it cannot retreat. We must never retreat. (Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. & John 17:15-16, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s