God is Holy: Which Comes Before Our Efforts on the Support-Raising Journey

 

“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.’” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV)

The further our culture gets from God, it seems the less we, even the Church, are in awe of His holiness—the kind of crying out where we declare our unworthiness when we encounter God like the prophet Isaiah did as he saw the LORD seated on His throne. Instead, we’ve made the holiness of the King of all kings tepid and have painted a picture of a God who is so tolerant of sin that He would never condemn anyone to eternal punishment. The reality is, God is perfectly righteous and His wrath will be poured out on all unrighteousness. Simply to be in His presence should cause us to fall down in awe in reverence, never leaving us the same.

If God weren’t holy, then we wouldn’t have needed the sinless sacrifice of His Son. Before the Apostle Peter repeats God’s calling for us to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16), he paints a picture of a loving God who showed great mercy in order for those who have faith to have new birth into a living hope, an eternal inheritance that will never spoil. With this gift there is no more separation from our loving God. He made us holy—not to the point of holding wrath and judgment in our hands—but to the place of being set apart. To live out of this gift, we are called to put aside our evil desires and live as holy strangers in this world. This gives us an eternal perspective, which allows us to endure anything we encounter.

1 Peter 1:15 says we are to be holy in ALL that we do. This is a convicting statement as people venture out onto the support-raising journey where the pursuit of money reigns and has the potential to make Christians not only act worldly but to experience undue stress. But what does it mean to be holy on this journey? First, we must understand that God has placed us on this journey for a reason. Having to raise support is not a mistake. This time is God-ordained as an intentional way for us to share our stories of what our awesome God has done in our lives. That change in perspective often changes our attitude. We can freely set aside our panic, burden, and overall feeling of being overwhelmed and simply rest in His presence.

Just like when Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me,” we, too, should take the time to encounter God in his holiness and be stirred into action by the God who loved us enough to pursue a relationship with us. He is asking us to be set apart, to be different, even on the support-raising journey. This is more than just a change in action, but a change of heart as we fall to our knees in awe of our awesome God. Let this thought guide every conversation and meeting you have. If we miss this opportunity on the support-raising journey, then this time becomes just an arduous task instead of an avenue to talk about our holy God. Let’s take our conversations and make them pleasing to God. My prayer for you is that by living as holy on this journey, you will keep an eternal perspective so that you can endure anything that comes your way.

  1. How is this thought of God being holy going to change your support-raising journey?
  2. Take time to encounter our holy God.

God is Patient: As He Holds the Whole Support-Raising Journey in His Hands

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some count slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)

I have lain awake sometimes literally fearing that God would not use me. My heart so yearns for the people around me and those where I’ll be in future ministries to know Jesus that I fear, if I don’t get to places quick and start telling people about Christ, then they would never know Jesus before they die. This is obviously a silly thought probably magnified by a half-sleepy mind in the wee morning hours, but so often we run our support-raising journey in this frenzied, must-hurry-up-and-be-used state. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be used right now in the places that God calls us—after all, He did call us to go!— but, when it drives our state of mind while raising support, it can cause us to be impatient, and with impatience comes frustration, and with frustration comes a doubting spirit.

So, the question becomes—what drives your support-raising journey? What drives this journey will shape your conversations, reactions, and even your peace of mind. The rut we often get into, and it’s even emphasized in many Christian organizations, is thinking that, since money is the obstacle for our immediate use and there is a great need for us wherever it may be, then this is what becomes the force that drives us. Get it now, get it quick, and go, go, go.

However, did you catch the personalization of 1 Peter 1:9—He is patient with you. With YOU! Peter didn’t write: He is patient with the rest of the world because they need Christ until we, Christians, hurry up and get there to save people before the day of the Lord comes. His patience is personalized. He is growing you to be mature in Him, and then we get to be used with far-reaching impact. A mature person who takes the time to recognize God at work right where they are has far greater effect than one who just hurries through the process just so they can be used.

Think of raising support as a journey of faith that strips everything away so you can watch your heavenly Daddy perform great things in order to grow you. For some the initial thrust is shorter than others, but either way, it’s an incredible stage to watch His greatness. Patience doesn’t mean we stop working toward our goals and just sit to wait to see what happens, it means we rest in Him for the outcome of our labor. Thank goodness He is patient enough to mold a wretch like me into a jewel to be used for His glory!

  1. Let the awesome reality of God’s use of you sink in, and then praise Him for His patience as He grows you for His purposes.
  2. Shift your focus off the money and onto Christ so you can rest in Him.