Dr. Billy Holland: Christians are called to live God’s way
Dr. William F. "Billy" Holland Jr. is an ordained minister, community chaplain and author of the "Living on Purpose" faith column. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl.
Everyone wants a Savior, especially if it’s free. The biblical concept of crucifying our carnal nature and becoming a living sacrifice for Christ has never been popular. The martyrs and everyone who faces persecution for Christ understand there is a cost to loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind.
In the Old Testament, God wanted to know who He could depend on and who would go for Him. What was He talking about? He was asking if there was anyone who would lay down their will and obey His.
In the New Testament, we find the wealthy young ruler asking Jesus about what he needed to do to have eternal life and Jesus simply said to give me your heart and follow Me. We know that abandoning our will is honoring our side of the covenant agreement and we are deceived if we think that He will accept any other type of generic life we try to throw together.
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Years before I started writing books, newspaper columns and weekly blog articles, I penned Christian music lyrics that are painful to our old nature. Those of you who have listened to these songs know what I mean. Many have told me over the years that the music was so candid and convicting that only a small remnant of seekers would want to hear them.
This has been true. I cannot count the number of times I have given them to someone, and they never mentioned them again. It’s intimidating when we hear Christ beckoning for us to come to His refining fire and crawl upon the hot coals. Nonetheless, sacrifice is at the core of the Christian faith.
I admit I would much rather hear a message about blessings instead of how I need to pray as much as I play on my phone. It’s like everything else in life: When we are passionate about what we enjoy, we cannot get enough of it, but when we are trying to avoid something uncomfortable, we cannot run fast enough to get away from it. Sadly, this is often how we respond when it comes to what God desires for our lives.
Do you think about your spiritual destiny? I realize we cannot see the future, but we can at least make sure we are on the right path. We understand that abiding in the constant awareness of His presence and being obedient to His voice is essential, but do we ever plan to give Him complete control of our lives?
For us to let go of our old ways and become a new creation, we must invite Christ to sit on the throne of our heart or we will never have a personal revelation of who He is. We are reminded about the true meaning of life which is loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, being filled with His Spirit, and knowing Him in the power of His resurrection.
God’s children are members of His body working together, developing and learning how to live for Him. Being changed into His image through a steady progression of giving Him control is the spiritual reality of growing and advancing into God’s perfect will. We know that He is not pleased with many things happening around us today, but we must keep trusting Him and allowing His love and forgiveness to flow through us.
When we read about certain individuals that had extraordinary experiences with the Lord, we notice they spent time with God in the secret places of isolation away from the voices of chaos. Remnant followers are drawn into the depths of His presence because they want to know His truth. They desire to go deeper into His endless sea of wisdom and revelation and are overwhelmed with His authority and His majestic power. Raising their hands and hearts to heaven, He touches them and fills them with the glory of His endless love.
“But we all with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” II Corinthians 3:18. Help us Oh God to have your discernment and agape love as we continue to fight on our knees in this spiritual war against evil principalities and rulers of darkness. We repent of our sins and bow down before you in humility and reverential fear of who you are. We love you and worship you. Amen.
Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com