Did you know that you are already holy as a believer, while being made holy. Scripture calls us saints. A Christian is holy, because they are filled with the Holy Spirit and belong to God. They are conscerated for God’s will. We read in Ephesians 1:4, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight”. The Message in I Peter 1:16 exhorts us to, “let yourself be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, ‘I am holy, you be holy.'” Holiness is a part of who we are as believers. “But when this priest (Jesus) has offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebrews 10:12-14). Here we learn that we are also in the process of being made holy. So while we are holy, there is also a process of becoming what we are in God. This is a life long process.
With this short introduction I want to introduce a very helpful definition I ran across in a book by Father Albert Hasse in his book “This Sacred Moment.” He is helpful in understanding the process of being made holy. Holiness is, “a selfless openness and response to God’s call in this sacred moment.” The call of God comes when there is an unmet need or something that needs to be done in the present moment. It is a call to selfless openness. “Holiness” says Haase, “is the lifelong journey out of slavery to the ego and its consuming preoccupation with self-concern, self-image, self-gratification, and self-preservation.” Holiness calls us to selflessness. An attitude of selfless openness attacks the ego head-on. The ego desires to control and manipulate everything and everyone it confronts. “But,” says Haase, “a selfless openness and response to whatever the present moment is asking of me, rooted in the desire to imitate the self-emptying of Jesus, incapacitates the ego and renders it powerless.”
So what does this have to do with men becoming holy? Why would a man even want to grow in holiness? Because it frees a man from dark prison of self-enclosure so he can walk out into the open spaces of God’s acceptance and experience the light of God’s presence. It is like breathing fresh air each moment of the day. The prison of self is place of fear, shame and guilt. Choices need to be made, not just occasionally but in every moment as to whether we are going to grow in holiness. The choice is to respond to the ego or the spirit of Jesus in our lives. “The belief that the need of the present moment is an invitation from God to forget myself and enrich the life of another is the motivating force and insight behind selfless openness. Indeed, the present moment as it unfolds before me is an expression of God’s will for me.” This is a call to live outside the enclosed confines of our ego, with its constricting and exploitative obsession with what we have, what we do and what people think of us.
So the take away for me in this short discourse on holiness, is the realization that we are continually making choices throughout our day. Holiness can be seen as choosing to reject the ego’s desires and to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Now this is not easy. That is why we are a work in progress when it comes to holiness. But we have a choice. To choose the way of Jesus, is to come humbling and pententially to him asking for his grace and help. We can’t do it. It has to be Jesus in us. But every moment we choice the life of the Spirit in us, the more we will be growing in holiness. Remember holiness is freedom from the restrictions of the ego. Holiness is learning to become who we were always meant to be in Christ.