1Peter 1:14 (NIV) As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…
“God’s working and my working need not be in competition but harmony. I work because he works… It is God’s fight and yet it is my fight. And the more it is his, the more truly it is mine.” [John White, The Fight, 192]
We have been set free as God’s children to decide how we will receive/live in God’s holiness. While we lived without holiness before Christ and were inundated with only desires outside of God, we can now choose in Christ what we’re impacted by. We can get drunk and indulge unnecessarily in wrong things, or we can be filled with the Spirit. Instead of conforming to unholy desires or waiting for God to disrupt/interrupt wrong ways in our lives, we can actively seek to be filled with the Spirit – to have his empowering and holiness fill our hearts.
Prayer: God, help me to turn from the temptation to do things my way and instead fill my heart with conviction to listen and obey your leading. Grant me a holy obsession to work and fight with you more and more. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy Overshadowing” (click here) by Graham Kendrick.
1Peter 1:15-16 (NIV) But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
“Skip it if you’re not interested. But holiness is not optional for the Christian. It is not an elective. It is your major… You began to be sanctified when you placed your faith in Christ. At that very time God set you apart for his special use. He also began a process in you designed to fit you for that use and to impart holiness to you. It may be that the process, because of your unfaithfulness or your misunderstanding, has ground to a halt. If so, there is no delay at God’s end. The Holy Spirit is ready to get on with his part.” [John White, The Fight, 181, 189]
We are holy because of Christ and because we have the Holy Spirit. Now we work at our major – wholly holy. The difficulty we can often have with being holy is when we measure ourselves by what we’re producing or not doing, rather than out of God’s holiness. It’s up to us to continually agree with the Holy Spirit’s process designed to make us fit to be used by God and to impart holiness.
Prayer: God, help me to surrender to your process of transformation. Help me to be holy out of your holiness by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Hymn of Surrender” (click here) by Matt Redman.
Isaiah 6:8 (NIV) Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
“Now, for the first time, God speaks. It is as if Isaiah was not ready to hear before this moment, as if the possibility of service could not be appreciated until this time… Having believed with certainty that he was about to be crushed into non-existence by the very holiness of God and having received an unsought for, and unmerited, complete cleansing, what else would he rather do than hurl himself into God’s service? Those who need to be coerced are perhaps too little aware of the immensity of God’s grace toward them.” [John Oswalt, NICOT: Isaiah, 185-186]
This magnificent obsession is a holy obsession. God’s holiness reveals the truth of who he is and who we are, but it doesn’t just leave us where we’re at. Instead of remaining in despair and being crushed because of our unholiness, we can arise in Christ through his glorious work on the cross and resurrection power. It’s the experience of God’s immense grace that gives us longing to follow him and to live in his holiness.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your immense grace. Help me to come into your presence and open my heart to wholly worship you. Grant me a holy obsession that follows your every leading. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Isaiah 6:5 (NIV) “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
“His profession of faith has been orthodox but empty, with little heart-awareness of the grandeur of God… The most telling indicator that God’s grace is renewing us is not when we say all the right things about his grace but when we stop putting ourselves above others, and even above God.” [Raymond Ortlund, Jr, Isaiah, 79]
Isaiah was undone when he encountered the Lord. God’s holiness had revealed the condition of his heart and of the people. Isaiah realized that dirty lips were just a small part of a bigger problem. It was in God’s holiness that he recognized how dirty he was all over – a spiritual sickness that was in his heart and a spiritual pandemic that plagued the people around him. Sometimes we don’t even realize our own condition. We can become so self-absorbed and acclimated to what’s around us that our hearts suffer from this same spiritual sickness. When we lift our eyes onto God and actually encounter his holiness, even for a moment or a glimpse, we become undone. This is a good thing because God’s holiness reveals what truly afflicts and hinders us. It’s at that point that we can be healed and purified by his grace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to fix my gaze on you and to be undone by your holiness. I am in utter need of your grace. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Isaiah 6:3 (NIV) And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
“’Holy, holy, holy’ is not just repetition; it is emphasis. It isn’t one + one + one; it’s perfection x perfection x perfection. The holiness of God distinguishes him absolutely… His holiness is simply his God-ness in all his attributes, works, and ways. And he is not just holy; he is ‘holy, holy, holy,’ each word boosting the force of the previous one exponentially.” [Raymond Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah, 77]
There’s an association between the Lord’s holiness and glory. God’s glory fills this whole earth and his holiness ensures such; or, his holiness is about his glory. As much as God’s holiness is this exponentially infinite perfection that illuminates any unholiness that separates us from him, God’s holiness also reveals his glory and purpose in the world. This glory is found in our Lord Jesus Christ who has removed that very separation by his holy sacrifice. Today, take time to repeatedly pray and declare Isaiah 6:3 above.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Holy One. The whole earth is full of your glory. Open my eyes as I fix my gaze on you. I lay my thoughts and my heart before you and ask that your glory and purpose would be revealed. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy, Holy, Holy” (click here) by Audrey Assad.
1Samuel 16:13 (NIV) “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.”
“David had divinely guided insight that others lacked. Because of the Spirit of God working within him, he saw things others did not see (16:13). His perception of Goliath was dominated by what he saw with his heart, not his eyes.” [Bill Arnold, NIVAC: 1&2 Samuel]
Each of us are warriors that can be like David, because our Christian perspective is now in the Spirit. May we experience and know that it is truly by God that we overcome giants in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We can and are to fight together as his church – the army of God – through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill my heart with the courage to fight the good fight. I ask for divinely guided insight and the power to walk forward in the direction you lead. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s also pray for the Spirit to fill our church with courage and renewed urgency to fight in the name of the Lord Almighty. Ask for God’s leading in our campuses, missional groups, and churches as you worship to “Fire Fall” by Planetshakers.
1Samuel 17:47 (NIV) “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
“God’s way of salvation is different from the human method, not with a sword and a spear. God accomplishes his plan of salvation in his own way, eventually by Jesus Christ, the Messiah.” [David Tsumura, NICOT: The First Book of Samuel]
Who does the fighting and how in verse 47 above? Who is the warrior in your life?
We are called to fight but not in the ways we think, because the battle belongs to the Lord and not to us. The terms of engagement are not to be dictated by our own ability, situations, or the ways of our culture; but rather they are to be dictated by the Lord as the warrior. It’s about engaging/living with the Lord before, during, and after the fight, and especially within the context of the church as God’s army.
Prayer: God, you are the warrior king, who leads us from victory to victory. Help me to fix my eyes, ears, mind, and heart on your leading and change my perspective. You are truly greater and bigger than anyone or anything else. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
1Samuel 17:16, 46 (NIV) The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand… [David said to Goliath] “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”
“Has the fear of a giant ever gripped you to such a degree that it prevented you from moving forward? Maybe you’ve experienced this before on your job, in your home, with your health… Whatever it is, the giant calls the shots, dictating your emotions and your actions (or lack of actions) … It’s difficult to score playing defense. A child of the King conquers his giants when he goes on the offense – which is exactly what David did.” [Tony Evans, The Power of God’s Names]
When we encounter opposition in our Christian walk that looks big in our eyes, we can’t just play defense and let it have a say over against who God is. It needs to be dealt with ‘this day’; otherwise, we’ll lose sight of the battle and the victory in God. The task doesn’t have to be as monumental as we think because we are not alone. Like David, may we fight with the assurance that ‘the LORD will deliver’ and ‘the whole world will know that there is a God.’
‘This day’ offer up any opposition against the Lord that you are facing (e.g., personal, relationships, campus, ministry group, church).
Prayer: Father, I offer up to you the opposition I’m facing. I receive again that I am a child of the King and I ask for your deliverance. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
1Samuel 17:45 (NLT) David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
“Goliath can’t believe his eyes! He mocks and threatens David. But David’s reply points out what the whole story is about: Goliath is challenging not just the army of Israel, but the God of Israel (as David had already said in v. 26). So the fight belongs to God, and so will its result.” [Christopher Wright, How to Preach & Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth, 105]
Whose battle are you fighting?
David fights in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel. What does this name mean in our own context/fighting?
We need to identify if the battles we’re fighting are the Lord’s battle, or if we’re even fighting or not. Sometimes we can be in the battle, but not engaged. As the Lord’s church, we are a part of his armies and are called to fight in the Lord. Pray that your fight would belong to God as well as its result.
Prayer: God, open my eyes to see your warrior-heart for your people. Help me to know that you fight for your people because we belong to you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Romans 8:37 (NIV) … in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
“I remember standing. We were told to believe with just one word, that God could do it, that God could heal us and I remember just wanting that truth to be made real for me and as the speaker prayed this over us, I did sense the softening of my heart, the raising of my faith again. And when I went home that night and the next day, a joy overtook me. What Pastor Gus had looked like months before on the outside, I was experiencing that on the inside. I felt saved, I felt clean – it was the joy of the Spirit’s salvation, rescue, and healing bubbling up from within me. Our warrior won! God defeated the battles that raged in us, that raged against us, and most importantly God overcame us, he won us. As more battles do come, my faith and hope rests on knowing God is the warrior.” [excerpt from Anne Kim’s testimony]
What does it mean to be a conqueror? How are we to conquer in the Lord?
Prayer: Lord, you are the warrior. Thank you for your victory. As a child of your kingdom, I am called to be more than a conqueror where your love overcomes. Let your salvation work bubble up from within my heart in praise and worship. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.