by Dino B. Tariman
The way of holiness is never an impossibility to follow. God commands us to live pure and holy to Him, just as He said, “I am the LORD your God, and you must keep yourselves holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44a). Holiness which means being set apart for God may be a tall order. Although very demanding, we can always learn and practice it with the help of God. Perseverance is necessary when facing tempations that comes against purity and holiness.
These temptations, or trials as others may call it, comes is different ways. It may be brought about by the world around us, or it may even come from ourselves. The world around us can lead people into sin. It may be the addicting television which steals your time with God. It can be through the secular media from which immodest, revealing images can be seen. It may be through billboards, movies, magazines or through the internet that one might be tempted to sin.
Sometimes, our very own selves lead us into sin. Our own desires which are of the flesh, leads us to sin. Our own passions intended to please only ourselves, and not God, leads us to sin as well. Pleasing our own selves with things that doesn’t please God may be like drinking alchoholic drinks which numbs the mind; smoking; reading dirty magazines and all sorts of vices.
Thank God that we can repent of the sins we have done and be forgiven by Him. God calls us to repentance if we have sinned. The LORD says, “Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool” (Isaiah1:18). God can wash us clean with the Blood of Jesus, “for by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven” (Ephesians 1:7a). This is because God is generous in forgiving our sin. Remember that when God forgives, God stomps at “our sins underfoot” and will “send them to the bottom of the sea!” (Micah 7:19b). Because God has forgiven us, we must live the new life He has given us, “and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy” (Ephesians 4:24).
Living a life that is holy and pure is possible. We must surrender ourselves to God, who alone can empower us to live a life that is set apart for Him. The Holy Spirit is always there to help us if only we trust in Him. We also should know more of God by praying to Him and reading His Word. We must accept God’s Word as our standard for living. It would not make sense discerning things without a standard. As our guide, we should apply the Word of God in our everyday lives.
Keep in mind that when temptations come, resist it, resist the devil. God said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It is also a good way to start your day praying to God for protection against the devil and against all temptations. Ask that God will cover you with the blood of Jesus so that the devil will not even come near you. Finally, put on the full armor of God so that you can resist the devil, so that “when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground” (Ephesians6:17).
“Nothing is impossible for God!” (Luke 1:37) It is God alone who can empower you to live a life holy and pure. No matter what trials you may face, know that with God, you can be pure and set apart for Him!
[This article was written and published in 2004. Original footnote: Dino B. Tariman, a 16-year old Catholic home schooling student. He started studying the Bible at the age of 6. With a passion to follow the Lord, he has read the Bible 5 times over and is now going on his 6th. He pursues a lifestyle applying God’s Word. He goes to Mass everyday.]