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How to Powerfully Pursue Holiness

When I was younger, I repeatedly neglected my relationship with Jesus. I wrongly assumed the Bible’s instructions were boring and only followed them when convenient. While I easily listened to sermons on Sundays, I struggled with authentic, consistent worship.

Over time, I slowly grew in my faith and applied myself to the Bible. God began showing me that honoring His commandments is a sacred privilege instead of a mere duty. More than just a series of choices, following Jesus is a lifelong decision to pursue holiness.

 In Leviticus chapter 27, God explains the rules of making a vow, or a voluntary decision to worship Yahweh through a valued offering. Vows are what draw us closer to God, propel us to serve Him with our whole hearts, and enable us to gain a deeper understanding of His holiness. Unlike a meaningless promise hastily recited, a vow is an intentional commitment that requires time, obedience, and dedication.

The greatest vow ever made is the one that our righteous, compassionate God promised to His beloved people. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled a centuries-old covenant and redeemed us from the shackles of our sin. As we seek His everlasting character through His Word, we possess the incredible opportunity to obey our Savior with indescribable joy and restored hope.

The Bible shows us the crucial parallels between vows and God’s deliverance. In fact, the name ga’al is a Hebrew word that means to redeem or buy back. It is used more than eighty times throughout the Old Testament and eight times in Leviticus 27 alone. Scripture proves how significant and necessary redemption is.

Before Jesus came to Earth, God commanded His people to give burnt offerings daily as this atoned for their transgressions. The Law specified that the provided animals must be flawless, valuable, and wholly innocent to be sacrificed on the altar. However, if an individual vowed to bring a sacrifice unto the Lord but later sought to redeem (save) an unclean animal, he needed to pay even more than its original valuation. 

Although these gruesome instructions are difficult to fully grasp, God teaches us that redemption is costly. Our sin made us unclean, but Jesus willingly became our own perfect, spotless Lamb. By freely pouring out His blood for us, His grace broke down the middle wall of separation and covered our sins for eternity. 

Due to our Savior’s sacrifice, our sin does not define us. We are set free from wickedness and called to live set apart. Just as God is holy, He desires us to be holy too. Holiness runs deeper than mindlessly following a set of rules- by honoring the boundaries God specifically gave us, our yearning for Him will only grow stronger. Actively taking up our crosses and wholly surrendering our actions invites Jesus to mold our hearts into His image. 

God kept His Word to His people, and He expects us to do the same. Nevertheless, navigating through the challenges of everyday life makes it easy to forget or even deliberately disobey the oaths we previously established. Unfortunately, this sets destructive barriers on our hearts and prevents us from experiencing the greatness of our Father’s love. Cheating God out of our promises always results in critical consequences because we were created to glorify Him; our obedience is a cherished act of worship that honors our King. 

Instead of convenience seekers, let us dare to be promise keepers. Although it is challenging to walk in holiness, we rejoice because the same power that rose Jesus from the dead is the power that works in us today. Although we will still make mistakes, our shortcomings cause us to understand the depth of Yeshua’s grace.

Due to the sinful nature of our hearts, we often think in terms of how everything will affect us. Will I be happy? Will this be something that I deserve? Will this be convenient for me? What’s so revolutionary about holiness is that it’s not about us at all- it’s about knowing Jesus. It’s about worshipping Him with the very best we have to offer, even if it makes us uncomfortable. 

As Jesus gave everything for me, I want to give everything for Him. I know I am imperfect, and there are numerous instances when I struggle with unconditional obedience. However, I’m learning that holiness isn’t a destination- it’s a priceless journey. Intentionally obeying God’s will radically transforms my life in countless ways. I gain a deeper understanding of His character, possess a stronger desire to draw closer to Him, and shift my ambitions to align with His purpose.

Our commitment to our vows reflects our desire for holiness. By honoring my word, I am empowered to joyfully seek the Holy Spirit with a renewed passion and purpose. Through our time, talents, and treasures, we can all offer sacrifices that glorify our Father and drive us toward a beautiful intimacy with Him. 

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