I am currently re-reading the book, “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges, and it is chewing on me as much as I am chewing on it.
I once taught a class through this book, and have read it at least twice over the years. It is one of those books that isn’t very long, but packs a lot into each of its short chapters.
A few standout quotes from early in the book:
“God wants us to walk in obedience–not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self. This may seem to be merely splitting hairs over semantics, but there is a subtle, self-centered attitude at the root of many of our difficulties with sin. Until we face this attitude and deal with it we will not consistently walk in holiness.
“This is not to say God doesn’t want us to experience victory, but rather to emphasize that victory is a byproduct of obededience. As we concentrate on living an obedient, holy life, we will certainly experience the joy of victory over sin.”
“To confuse the potential for resisting (which God provided) with the responsibility for resisting (which is ours) is to court disaster in our pursuit of holiness.”
Purity is a “backpack essential” for leadership*, and as we prepare and plan for the start of Compass Church, I want to be the best leader I can possibly be. Pursuing holiness is part of that equation.
Christian Leaders who think they can lead without making personal holiness a priority are merely fooling themselves and setting themselves up for a major crash or a reckless implosion.
I have not always pursued holiness. Even as a Christ follower and as a Pastor, I have not always pursued holiness. Unfortunately, on more occasions than I care to admit, I have pursued my own goals, desires and interests more than the holiness that God makes available to us.
And that holiness is not a picture of legalism, restriction and “uptightedness,” but of freedom, action and joy.
It does, however, involve discipline, and it must be pursued.
“Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of just walking along. I’m ready to start running…