Faith & Insight: The right response in pursuit of holiness

Is your life the right response to a daily pursuit of the holiness of God? Life can be extremely busy — busy with greats things and busy with hard things as well. It can be filled with joy and excitement. It has also been filled with heartache and pain. With all that demands our attention: from being a parent and raising a family, to running a business or managing a team — with all that is coming our way and with all that we must do each day, how do we avoid living a life that is absent of a daily pursuit of the holiness of God?

Are we apart of a remnant that has the confidence to risk everything in this busy life for more intimacy with God? The simply answer might be: pray more! Or another one might be: read your bible more! And although those are good things to do, do they really make us more holy? Do they really give us the confidence we need to “risk everything for the gospel of grace?” “Doing more” probably won’t make us any more confident, and “doing more” won’t really bring us more and lasting freedom, either.

This is a holiness issue. We have lost what it means to pursue the very holiness of God for our lives. Between our hearts and God, there is a huge disconnect. I have seen it in college students trying to work and go to school. In single parents, trying to work and raise their family. In the business owner and managing a team and company. We think that since we are busy being parents, or busy being leaders at our job or in our community, and that if just stay busy enough that then we will accomplish great things in our lives — and perhaps even for God.

Now, don’t get me wrong, God wants us to be faithful to our spouse and love them relentless. God wants us to humbly serve Him in whatever capacity He has called us to. But we cannot neglect the former, a daily pursuit of the holiness of God, and hope to achieve the greater: risking it all for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

St. Augustine prayed: “Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.”

There will always be an email to write, a phone call to make, a card to send, a person to help, a need to meet. There will always be something that will demand our attention. If we get caught up in meeting that need, then we will always feel consumed with being busy. We will also then be more concerned about doing things than being truly connected to God in vibrant and intimate ways. When we pursue the holiness of God, it transforms our prayer life. It brings wisdom and power to what we encounter in the Word of God and it gives us the right perspective to handle the things we face throughout each day. And this is possible through God’s grace for us as our focus is on Him, first.

May we purpose with great passion and strong conviction to seek out true intimacy with God and His Holy Word, remembering that it has always been and always will be about Jesus. May you find the freedom to say no to things of this world that are robbing you, so that you can you truly and fully say yes to a genuine pursuit of the holiness of God in your life that will have radical and profound implications on all that you do and say.

Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at


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