By Paul Cole
As Christians we want to live holy lives because God commanded us to and because he is holy. Given our best intentions, we find ourselves trying to deal with the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. How do we regain our holiness and allow God’s holiness to guide us? We need to make holiness a priority.
The Priority of Holiness Lost
Christ said some words that haunt me. He prayed to God this powerful prayer: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world” (John 17:15). In so many words Christ is praying that his disciples be in the world but not of it. Christ knows that they must stand in the midst of evil and not let it conquer them, but they must conquer it.
Some Christians find themselves in the midst of evil and don’t realize the nature of the beast. Here in Haggai 2:10-13, Haggai is warning the people they can lose their holiness easily; they know it and so do we.
The Priority of Holiness Regained
When we find ourselves under God’s hand of judgment because of sin in our lives, we do not like to deal with it. We prefer to be in the world and of the world. God will not allow that. He will bring his strong hand of discipline to deal with our sins.
In Haggai 2:14-19, the prophet shared some ominous words that caused them to shudder. God said that he was destroying the work of their hands. Then God gave an extremely stern warning not to fail again when he said, “Now give careful thought to this” (Haggai 2:15, 18). Twice he said this. If God said this to his chosen people back then, how much more should we take it seriously when God speaks to us today, as he impresses on our hearts: “First, be in the world not of it. Second, give careful thought to how I am destroying the work of your hands because you refuse.”
Let’s get serious about holiness so the curse is reversed. Let’s live a holy life that brings his blessings.
Paul and his wife, Margaret, minister at Town and Country Christian Church in Alva, Oklahoma.