Daniela is a psychology major at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, New York. She loves the Word of God, is an anointed worship leader, and appreciates good coffee and great chats. (Can you tell why I love her so much?!) Daniela is an amazing young woman of God and a sister to me. I love her dearly and I know the Lord has great plans for her in the Kingdom. Please check out Daniela's guest post below and share some comment love and encouragement with her!
Photo Credit: Lauren Viera
From the moment my sister Jenn mentioned the idea of bringing her WDYTYA curriculum to the young adults; I was extremely eager. Especially when I read that a topic would be "I am Holy"; a subject that God had directly been drilling into my heart. He really must have wanted it to sink in. And it did. Here's a little back story on my personal journey, and what I've learned.
I was "born and raised" in the faith. I grew up seeing my parents fast, pray, and sing unto the Lord. I also grew to love this Jesus that was celebrated in the Christian faith. I remember being eight years old and reading the book of Revelation because I wanted to know him more. So, it would have been safe to assume that I was headed in the right direction. However as a result of this fallen world, I had an adverse childhood experience around the age of eight, that in turn lead to several habitual sins and negative mindsets.
My struggle and experience would lead me to feel tainted and defiled. That's how I would have described myself. My stain would soon feel too set in to be removed. To myself, holiness was unattainable. It was an unrealistic standard that God placed on me.
"For how could I be holy when my sin and my struggles stem from events that I had no control of and now I can't break free from them!? God, I'm a victim! I should be exempt from living a holy life. I can't do it. I can't break these minds sets and bad habits..."
At least that is what I thought about holiness. No matter how hard I tried and worked to be holy, there was no result. I gave up on being holy. Now, the little girl that was so eager to know God, became too ashamed to approach Him in the same way.
Holiness can be translated as separation to God and separation from sin. The bible says "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-15)
Now if we just read that, it's easy to believe that we have to be perfect and constantly pursue holiness in our own strength. But if we just take a look at the verse right above it, verse 13, it says "therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." You see, when we realize who Jesus is and what his sacrifice gave us, we no longer set our hope on our human ability or inability. We no longer try to maintain our holiness rather we live out holiness because of Gods grace. Holiness isn't a product of our works, but of the grace that Jesus Christ died to give you.
I love what my bible expository says about holiness: "Sanctification is thus the state predetermined by God for believers into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Christian course and so pursue it."
Paul says in Ephesians 3:16-17: "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him." When Jesus ascended he left us with a great big gift called the Holy Spirit who comes and dwells in your heart when you accept him. The spirit gives power and strength, and at the revelation of Jesus and his gift of the Holy spirit, we realize that Spirit of Holiness lives within us.
So, no matter how tainted I felt or thought I was, it doesn't matter anymore. No matter how hard I believed that it would be to change, it doesn't matter anymore. That was left in the past and I am a new creation with the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and giving me the grace that I need to be who I was predestined to be: HOLY!
If you're jumping into the series now, feel free to check out the #WDYTYA16 page that includes links to all the posts so far.