Blended Not Shaken Ministries and Publications

Christian step/single parent and blended families ministry.

“Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 144:15

We are constantly hearing phrases like, ‘Do what makes you happy’, ‘God just wants you to be happy’, ‘As long as you are happy, that’s all that matters’ and so on. But I don’t believe this is what a true Christian should aspire to. And I don’t think God’s chief aim is that His children are ‘happy’.

This blog will seek to explore the issue surrounding the happiness versus holiness state of being for the Christian and show, using the Book of Leviticus that if a Christian pursues holiness as a way of life purely because the Lord asks that of them, that a by-product of a holy life will also be a happy one.

As Wiersbe states in his commentary on the book of Leviticus,

“Happiness, not holiness, is the chief pursuit of most people today, including professing Christians. They want Jesus to solve their problems and carry their burdens, but they don’t want Him to control their lives and change their character. It doesn’t disturb them that eight times in the Bible God said to His people, “Be Holy, for I am holy,” and He means it.”

Have you ever thought that personal holiness, not happiness is the most important thing in the world?

The Bible shows us that holiness is a necessity, not an optional extra. The writer of the book of Hebrews states,

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no-one will see the Lord.” (Heb.12:14)

While God doesn’t want us to be miserable, true happiness begins with being holy and in pursuing a holy life.

I loved my study of the book of Leviticus. Leviticus teaches New Testament Christians how essential a holy life is and how to pursue holiness, both to the glory of God and for the ultimate good of all. The word holy is used 93 times and words connected with cleansing are used 71 times. The key verses in Leviticus, “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev.11:44-45) are applied to the New Testament church in 1 Peter 1:15-16 and the book of Leviticus itself is quoted or referenced to over 100 times in the NT.

While pondering over what constitutes a holy life, it would be easy to say I was holy as I strive to live as a Christian should. I haven’t committed grievous sins, nor do I swear, dress provocatively, steal, treat my neighbours in a nasty fashion, cheat on my taxes, disrespect my parents or husband, or neglect my children and so on. Yet, on closer reflection, are there other areas of my life, secret areas of my heart and my thought life that are not holy ALL of the time? And the answer would have to be- yes.

‘God’s holiness isn’t simply the absence of defilement, a negative thing. The holiness of God is positive and active. It’s God’s perfect nature at work in accomplishing God’s perfect will. ‘ Wiersbe

This statement from Wiersbe’s commentary on Leviticus really struck a chord with me. Sometimes, the thought around striving to be holy conjures up a negative image, an ‘eating lemons face’ as it were; being miserable in being a holy person. But pursuing real holiness is also a positive thing. As the opening Bible verse shows, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. “As well as this, I learned that the Hebrew word for holy that Moses used in Leviticus means ‘that which is set apart and marked off, that which is different’ but that the English word holy comes from the Old English word halig which means ‘to be whole, to be healthy.’ Physical health is good for the body like holiness benefits the inner body. As well as this enlightening detail, holiness and the pursuit of such is akin with God’s will and was the subject of previous blog posts earlier in the year. I think the Lord is trying to teach me something! (Have a read here Thoughts on doing God’s Will – Blended Not Shaken as well as this one Duty vs Delight – Blended Not Shaken )

I see that the logical conclusion is this: In His Word, God clearly calls us to be holy as He is Holy and to strive to live a holy life. As Wiserbe says, ‘God’s commandments are God’s enablements’ so we can be assured it is possible to live a holy life. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” and “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt.5). A holy life dispels darkness and repels decay.

Also, Christians need to realise that, in order to live a holy life, it requires obedience and discipline. Ouch! Two words that are not popular today. People want to do what they want, what makes them feel good, to follow their hearts. But this is dangerous and only leads to ruin.

Personally speaking, I have been grappling with this all year. While my heart’s desire is to live a holy life that pleases the Lord, is a good witness to others and bring glory to His name, it is OBEDIENCE to His will He also requires of me that constitutes holiness. There is one area in my life where I want to do one thing but the Lord is asking me to do another. And, it’s not causing me much happiness at the moment! But I am also learning that happiness in me should grow as a result of doing what He wants me to do. And if I say I love the Lord, I would want to do His will, not my own, wouldn’t I ?

Let’s just say, I’m a work in progress, by God’s grace. And I’d hazard a guess, you might be too?


2 Responses

  1. I love what you write here. Do you link up or share links with churches in Perth, WA?

    1. Hello Annemie,
      Thank you. I live in South Australia. While I would love to connect with other churches, at the moment, my main contacts are schools in reference to the books I’ve written. If you think my ministry would benefit others, please share the word with others. Blessings to you..

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