My family and I are enjoying some quality time over staycation. During this time, I’m re-posting some of my favorite old posts.
“Holiness” is a funny word: it can bring to mind strange rules and fiery preachers… and sometimes things are done in the name of ‘holiness’ that make it appear the antithesis of love. So, please don’t let the topic of this post keep you from going any further. I freely admit that some of our definitions of holiness are misguided and potentially hurtful; I also admit we’ve been distracted by conversations related to but not central to holiness. Discussion about the Wesleyan stance on alcohol is best left to another post (or ginormous tome). No, we’re not perfect in how we approach the outward look of holiness… neither am I perfect in how I live, believe, or do life.
But our passion is the truth that the work of Jesus who lived, died, rose again ascended into heaven and even now pleads for us really does make us new. The impossible call of God’s Spirit to be holy is met by the overwhelming grace of God’s Spirit and we are made such. We really believe a person can be transformed by grace into being exactly who God calls us to be in Scripture.
I tell people I grew up in a home church environment where the ‘flash and pizzaz’ of the Holy Spirit was more the focus than the real power of God’s Spirit, that It wasn’t until my time at Kingswood University that I learned of God’s love so great he not only rescues but renews deep, deep down. What would have been different in my life and heart had I first been exposed to the message of grace-given holiness? I believe God’s Spirit gives incredible gifts to the Body (many times us holiness folk shy away from and end up missing out on our full potential here, but that is also a discussion for another time…); that he can heal, give supernatural knowledge, amazing insight, holy discernment, and raise the dead; that he can inspire men and women with dreams & visions, allow us to proclaim his Word, and be used as vessels to change the world in his power. But one of the most powerful, loving, amazing things I have seen him do is right a crooked spirit.
We Wesleyans like to proclaim we are part of the Holiness Tradition; I hope our passion for God’s Spirit does not morph simply into a list of rules and remembrances of the Good Ol’ Days—as so many traditions do—but that we find ourselves renewed with passion to proclaim that there is a loving God who rescues and re-wires. He is powerful, loving, strong and mighty to save.