14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” -1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV
Obedience. Conformed. Holy. These are three powerful words. In order to live a life of a true follower of Jesus Christ, let us consider that the first two, obedience and conformed, are a staircase to the third, holy.
Why Obedience? Obedience is defined as “Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.” In our case, the “Another” is God. Obedience to anything else is replacing God and worshiping something else as God. An obedient Christian life includes sacrificing ourselves, our time and money, in order to serve God himself over everything else. Over our career, our finances, or ourselves. When we serve our family, friends, the hungry, the widow, the imprisoned, we serve God over ourselves.
Why Conformed? Conformity is defined as “compliance with standards, rules, or laws.” Now, to the unbeliever, the anti- government, or those who champion the thought that you can change what God made, conformity is a deal breaker. But for Christians, conforming to the life and example of Jesus Christ is the last step in reaching holiness. God has spoken through the prophets, he walked among us in life and died for us as Jesus Christ. He rose from the dead as victor, Savior and king.
Finally, holiness. Holy is defined as “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred. Devoted to the service of God. Morally and spiritually excellent.” Our end goal as a Christian is to join the whole company of Heaven, rejoicing in and worshiping God. In joy, in light and peace. Not peace from a worldly perspective, but God’s peace, that which passes all man’s understanding.
The Christian life is difficult. It’s not for the weak. It’s also not lukewarm or part time. It’s a constant journey, which lasts a lifetime, but arrives in glory, pure joy and peace. It’s the climb.
God bless you
Father Jason Bowden