Out of the Abundance of the Heart / Healing Help 11

Healing Help 11: You’re on a Mission from God!

Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

(Ephesians 4:24 NLT)

Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

(John 17:17 NLT)

You are on a mission from God. I know that may sound a little strong, but it’s true. On our first official date, Judy and I went to see a movie called “The Blues Brothers.” I’d been saved for just a few months. The movie centered around the misadventures of two bumbling reprobates who repeatedly said that they were “on a mission from God.” It was hilarious, but it also rang true in my heart. Each of us has a purpose that is beyond and above the necessities of everyday life. I may have a trade or job, and those things are good. But God has given me a larger purpose. I an on a mission from God, and so are you. That reality strengthens my faith to receive healing.

Ephesians 4:24 says that you have been created in true holiness. It’s who you are. You’re not holy because you don’t do bad stuff, you avoid doing bad stuff because you’re holy. The word “holy” is a little scary if you’ve been in church for any length of time. We tend to reduce holiness to a list of dos and don’ts. That is far below the power and dignity of the word. The Bible is emphatic: God is holy! I love the scene in Isaiah where the angels are around the throne of God crying, “”Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). Holy means that He is separate, different, from the fallen world. It’s who He is. He is the Creator and not subject to the creation. When He says you are holy, what does that mean? It means you are separated from the profane and fallen creation in which you live. Jesus says that you are in the world, but you are not of the world. (John 17:14)

The Scripture uses the term “holy” to describe all kinds of things. The ground around the burning bush was holy. The Sabbath day is holy. The utensils used in the Tabernacle are holy. The tithe is holy. The Temple is holy, and the water used there is holy. You get the point. What makes these things holy? Not their behavior, but their purpose and use in the service of God endues them with His nature. They are holy because of Him. His presence makes them holy. His purpose makes them holy. They are holy because they belong to Him. There are three foundations of holiness that will help you if you can make them part of how you see yourself:

  1. Whose You Are. In Exodus 33, God told Moses to take Israel into the Promised Land. Because of their disobedience, God initially said He was not going with them. Moses got quite upset. He said, “your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” God relented and went with them. The Presence of God sanctifies (makes holy) the people and the places where He resides. You are a habitation of God. You are holy. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT)” His Presence in you marks you as His, it’s the evidence of whose you are. You are holy.
  2. Who You Are. “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. (Leviticus 19:2 NLT) You have been created “to be like God,” to have His nature. You are holy because He is holy, and you are like Him. The person you became when you were born again, the new creature, is different. You are separated from the world around you because you are from another planet and have another bloodline. I remember as a kid reading a sci-fi book called “Stranger in a Strange Land.” It describes the experiences of a man born and raised on Mars and then returned to earth as a young man. It was quite an adjustment! You are no less an alien. Don’t’ get too comfortable here. You are a stranger in this strange land. (Hebrews 11:13; Philippians 3:18-21) You are holy.
  3. Why You Are. The Apostle Peter wrote “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)” You are here for a purpose. In the new birth, God gave you specific abilities, He put His desires deep in your heart, and He made you part of His team in the earth. The grand plan is to declare is Name to the world. Within that grand plan we each have a part to play. Understanding that purpose gives life meaning. Cooperating with that purpose inspires a greater capacity for faith. God needs you. You are on a mission from God. You are holy.

Here’s the Point: Holiness is part of your new identity in Christ. It should be reflected in what you do, but what you do does not determine your holiness. God’s Presence dwells in you and marks you as His. That Presence doesn’t leave you when you fail. “For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” (Hebrews 13:5) God has given you His nature. He is holy; therefore, you are holy. His nature doesn’t change when you sin, and neither does yours. God has given you a part of His grand plan. “He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)” Whatever God sets apart for His use is holy. You are set apart for His use, therefore you are holy. (Exodus 30:28-29)

The Bible tells you how you can live out the holiness of your new life. As Ephesians 4:24 says you have to “put on your new nature.” That comes through a process of seeing what the Bible says about you and then believing it enough to say it out loud when thoughts of inadequacy, condemnation, or temptation come in your mind. Jesus prayed for you and me in John 17:

“I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” (John 17:15-20 NLT)

When temptation comes, the Word is the sanctifying force in your life. It works by speaking it out of your mouth. This world has no claim on you any more than it had on Jesus when He was on the earth. God wants to enable you to live holy and enjoy the freedom that is yours as a “different” kind of new creation.

Peter said it this way:

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.(2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT)

You have His nature. It’s in you from the moment you’re born again. Now you’re letting that nature become real to you through the precious promises He’s given you. You are separated from the forces of the world by nature. Holy is who you are.

To the Romans, Paul emphasized this concept as a key to knowing and fulfilling the will of God:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. [2] Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)

Your body belongs to Him. You should let Him use it. In order to do that, you need to learn how He thinks and begin to think that way yourself. You especially need to see yourself as He sees you and to be aware of what He’s placed within your heart. Then you can recognize and overcome the pressure to conform to the world around you. You’ll also come to see and pursue His will for you. Paul goes on to describe how this will allow you to take your place in His plan, exercising your gifts in concert with the rest of Christ’s body to bring His grace to the world around you. (Romans 12:3-8) You really are on a mission from God!

Next Steps: It’s time to let these things become real, to get them off the page and into your heart. Below are three sets of scriptures followed by a confession based on what they say about you. Take 2 days for each set of verses. Read them aloud from your Bible. Read them prayerfully, being intentionally conscious of what you are saying. Then read aloud the profession that follows the set of Scriptures. Remember you are holy:

  • Because of His Presence: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Hebrews 13:5-6; Isaiah 41:10; Exodus 33:14-16; Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 4:6-7.

I thank You, Heavenly Father, that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in me. You gave Him to me, and He reminds me that I belong to You. I will glorify You in my body and in my spirit. You are my Helper. I am not fearful because no matter what happens or what I do, You will never leave me or forsake me. You are my God and You are with me. You help me and hold me up with your Hand. Your Spirit in me lets me know that I am your child. You have anointed me and put your Spirit in me as a guarantee of my salvation. I have the glory of the face of the resurrected Jesus Christ shining on the inside of me. Your Presence goes with me and gives me rest wherever I go. Your Presence separates me, makes me different, from the world around me – its cares, its values, and its chaos, I am in the world, but I don’t belong to it. Because you are with me, I am holy.”

  • Because I’m a New Person: Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 10:12-14; 1 Peter 1:16; Ephesians 4:22-24.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, that as I present my body for your use and look into your Word to find my identity, I am being transformed. I am no longer conformed to this present world, but I am separate, living out Your good, and acceptable and perfect will. I am a new creation in Christ. My old life has passed away. I am your very own workmanship, created anew to fulfill your will. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I am sanctified, set apart, made holy, by His blood. He did it once for all. It is finished. I now have your nature, and by faith I put it on. Because You are holy, I am holy.

  • Because I Have a Purpose: Ephesians 2:8-10; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 2:9; 4:10-11; Philippians 1:6; 2:13-16; Romans 12:1-8.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me by your grace. Though I didn’t do anything to deserve it, you made me a new person with a purpose. You made me perfectly suited to do the good works you have planned for me. You give good and perfect gifts and you chose to save me. My life is a demonstration of your power and grace. You brought me out of darkness to live in the light and tell others of your greatness. You have given me abilities which I choose to take good care of by using them to benefit others. I know you will complete the good work you have begun in me, because it is You who is working in me to do it, and You never fail. I am holding fast to your wonderful Word. You are teaching me to think like You. I am a light in a dark world. I am on a mission from God, I am holy.

Pastor Virgil Stokes

Previous installments in this series, along with other resources, are available at www.pastorvirgil.com

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