A CALL TO HOLINESS – THAT’S REALLY GOOD NEWS!
by Lyn Packer
There is a call going out by the Spirit of God at the moment that is precious and full of good news for the church. This prophetic word, this call that is being released, is something that is absolutely necessary for our growth and development so that the Kingdom of Heaven can be released into earth as the Lord wants it to be. I believe God is saying this…
“I am calling My children, My church back to a place of holiness. I am dropping a plumbline and measuring My church, both as individuals and as a whole body. I am calling you out of living like the world and into living as righteous, holy, sons and daughters. This plumbline has been dropped and is at work already, exposing hidden things in people’s lives all around the world. Don’t fear the work; embrace it. It is My love at work in your life, not judgement.”
A call to holiness might not initially sound like good news if you view holiness through an Old Covenant lens of rules and requirements, of have-to’s and hard work, but read on and you’ll find out that this call to holiness is jam-packed full of good news!
For too long we have seen things like a call to holiness as God judging us in a negative way, as if He’s saying something like, “Ah-ha, there’s another thing wrong with you for me to point out and make you feel bad about.” But that is not God’s heart, that’s the heart and voice of the harsh taskmaster – the devil; that’s the voice of condemnation! Scripture tells us in Rom 8:1-2 that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
This work of God calling us to Holiness is His love and faithfulness at work! It shows us that God loves us and is committed to our growth and maturity in Christ. It shows us that He wants us to be free of anything that could violate, harm, or destroy us in any way. God hates sin, but not because he hates sinners; he hates sin because it violates and destroys people’s lives. God hates anything that steals from, or destroys, those He loves!
The work of the plumbline
God talks about plumblines and alignment in both Old and New Testaments (a couple of those scriptures are shown below). A plumbline is a vertical measure that is used to measure whether a structure is built with proper vertical alignment. It shows whether something is built straight and true.
“This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel;” Amos 7:7,8
“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.” Luke 3:4,5
This call back to holiness, this work of alignment that God is doing, is not about God demanding that we live up to some set of rules and if we break those rules then it’s judgement and punishment time. It’s not about our works or willpower and trying to become holy. It’s about the Lord showing us where we are not being true to our new nature, He is aligning us with who we are as new creations in Christ, and making provision for us so that we can live as righteous, holy people1 in the midst of a sinful world.
Over the years, I’ve heard Christians who have sinned say that God has forgiven their sin and he’s now okay with it. I heard this again just recently. What they are saying is that they they believe God is now okay with the fact that they had sinned, because they had asked forgiveness. While God has forgiven them for the sin they committed, that doesn’t mean that He’s okay with that sin. God forgives but He does not condone sin; He’s not okay with sin.
Living from our new nature
As Christians, living a life where we continue to sin is living a destructive lifestyle, not a New Covenant lifestyle. It is a sub-par lifestyle for a Christian! The reality of us already being righteous and holy in Christ is accessed mainly through two things –
Knowing what Christ did for us through His death and resurrection – the covenant that He made between man and God, what that covenant has brought us into, and the provisions He has made for us in that.
Through intimacy, through relationship with the Trinity, knowing them – their nature and character and knowing their heart of love toward us.
He has granted forgiveness of all our sins and His forgiveness is complete. He does not hold that sin against us; He forgives and He loves us. Instead He judges our sin and shares that judgement with us in order to help us see where we are not living up to who He knows we are in Christ, and where we are not accessing the provision that He has made available to us. We’ve been given a new nature, a new heart, made righteous and holy in Christ, given the mind of Christ, and are empowered by Holy Spirit. We are now able to resist the devil and temptation and live a righteous, holy life, one that is productive not destructive. A life that is full of peace, joy, kindness, mercy, love, patience and more. It’s a life where the fruits of the Spirit2 are established and displayed in our lives and where Christ lives in us and through us, loving and serving the communities we live in, establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
No longer are we ruled by sin, which played on our old nature’s weaknesses. We have been born-again, our new nature is pure, righteous and holy. The old man is gone, our mind is in the process of being renewed3 and being established in new thinking patterns and our old habitual responses and ways of behaving are falling away as new ones replace them.
Yes, we may occasionally still sin – either from habitual response patterns that we haven’t yet replaced with new ones, or because we deliberately choose to do so. After all, we are still maturing and growing into the likeness of Christ4. Yes God has forgiven, but He is not “okay with it”, okay with sin, because it is not what He has for us, it is not who we are now. He has a far better reality for each of us to walk in! He is committed to us really understanding who we are in Christ and being empowered to live as those who have been set free from the law of sin and death, and have been already made righteous and holy.
Intimacy and Identity
As we develop our relationship with the Trinity, exploring the gift of intimacy with them that they have given us, and understanding who we are in Christ – our identity – we learn that we have been sold a lie about who the Trinity are and what they’re like. We’ve been told that they are full of judgement and that being their children means that we must live up to their demands or risk harsh punishment.
Yet when we get to know them and really look at what Scripture says, not what tradition has said, we learn what the Trinity are truly like – full of love, grace, kindness, mercy etc. As we experience those things in our lives, personally, it makes us fall more and more in love with them, and our natural response to that is to want to not do anything that will violate that love and trust. The grace they extend to us actually then teaches us how to live as righteous and holy people, as Titus 2 tells us –
11“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14
In other words, knowing the love and grace of the Trinity experientially, and understanding Scripture and the covenant that we live under, causes us to desire sin less and less and teaches us how to live as those who have been forgiven, cleansed, sanctified, made new through and through, made righteous and holy, and are being transformed into the image of Christ. So, any sins we commit become less and less frequent, with longer and longer gaps between, because we are learning to live from our new nature5
The plumbline of holiness is not some horrible thing to fear, it’s something to be welcomed. Righteousness and holiness are gifts from God to us that release the provision of God in a truly beautiful way into our lives, enabling us to live our lives freed from the power of sin. Now that’s good news! That’s something that makes us say – “Lord, drop the plumbline of holiness into my life, show me where I am not living up to who I am in You, and thank You for the release of power and provision to become all that I am in Christ. I embrace my righteousness, I embrace my holiness, and I thank You for your kindness and love!”
1. 2 Cor 5:21; Rom 3:21-22; 2 Cor 9:10; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Cor 7:1
2. Gal 5:22,23; 1 Cor 13:4-8; 1 Jn 4:16;
3. Rom 12:1,2; Phil 4:8;Eph 4:23; 1 Cor 2:16
4. Eph 4:3-16; Col 1:9-11; Col 2:6-7;
5. Heb 5:12-14; 2 Pet 1:5-8
Lyn is recognised as a Prophet within New Zealand and other nations she’s ministered in. Her ministry is revelatory and catalytic, propelling people into encounter with God. The governmental prophetic gift she carries is expressed through prophetic, revelatory insight and strategy, prophetic words (personal, corporate and national), teaching, art, and writing. Click here for more info...