This week I continue to process what holiness means, what it looks like in daily life. My thoughts and reflections swirl around James 4:4, and the biblical truth it contains: to know what is right to do, and not do it, is sin. In this instance, James is talking about the sin of omission.
The process of pondering this concept is eroding my tendency to procrastinate; this is a really good thing! I am staying organized, productive, and on top of things. The result is that I have an ongoing sense of rightness deep within me, along with a gentle joy of simply living life - something that is truly foreign to me. Until now, my life has been characterized, unfortunately, by procrastination: putting off doing now what I know I need to do. Certainly this has not always been the case, but there has been a significant amount of procrastination in my lifetime - an embarrasingly large amount of it.
This shift away from procrastination, which is nothing more than an assertion of my own will, toward doing the right thing in the moment, an act of surrender to the will of God, is a sign of the transformative work God is doing in me. As I ponder this shift in my will, as I notice that I truly desire to do the right thing in the moment, I discover that I am in a dance with God. His Spirit nudges me to do something, and I do it; as I do the right thing, I am living in holiness, I am living a holy life. In the dance metaphor, God leads, and I follow. This concept is deceptively simple, because it is deeply profound.
This surrender to God in the moment is the essence of holiness, of living a holy life. It requires that I accept the lordship of Jesus Christ, in that as his Spirit directs me to do something, I do it. As a Christian, I am a follower of Jesus Christ; as Paul frequently confessed in his letters, so I, too, am a bondservant of Christ. I have been bought with a price; my life is no longer my own. Thus, not my will, but God's will is my daily prayer.
This dance of holiness is an intrigueing concept to me. It can happen only by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit within me, who is working daily to conform me into the image of Christ - who was obedient to his Father's will, even unto death. The amazing thing about this dance is that, by surrendering my will to the will of my Lord, I gain peace, joy, freedom from guilt (gulit that comes from knowing the right thing to do and not doing it)... and discover a deepening intimacy between me and my Lord. And it is this deepening intimacy that I am most hungry for.
This dance is not complicated: I notice the little thing that God is nudging me to do, and I willingly choose to do it. Quite simple, really. And yet these simply little acts of surrender, of following the lead of my Lord, brings me the deepest satisfaction and contentment my heart has ever known.
This process of living a holy life is nothing more, really, than doing what is right, and not doing what is wrong. It is a moral life. And in this life of doing what is right, my daily life becomes an example in the world of the goodness of my God, who is always holy, who always does what is good and right.
God invites me to dance with him daily - to willingly surrender my will to his lead, and he asks me to follow. In essence, he transforms my will from what I want to what He wants for me. So, I'm not even surrendering my will, really. I'm simply asserting my will to choose God's way of living.
I am learning to truly love this way of living... dancing with God.