September 20 - Holiness is Happiness
Everybody wants to be happy but few understand the true way to happiness is to live a life of holiness. All our unhappiness came because of sin, our sin or the sin of others affecting us. When a person stays away from sin and unrighteousness, joy and gladness will be his lot. The search for happiness begins with the desire for holiness.
Isaiah prophesied about a highway that shall be called the Way of Holiness. Only the redeemed and the ransomed can walk in it. Anyone unclean and wicked cannot pass over it. Those who are walking on the way can never be lost for it is a straight path with no twists or turns. There shall be no wild animals there to threaten the safety of the redeemed. Its destination is Zion and those who walk on it are singing with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain gladness and joy, while sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Would you like to walk on such a path of happiness?
Paul also links holiness with happiness for one of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. He urges the believers in Galatia to walk in the Spirit, refusing the lust of the flesh. The freedom that we have in Christ is not for our abuse, using the occasion to satisfy our own bodies. If we are self-centered, we cannot love or serve others. When we are self-serving, the works of the flesh will manifest. By gratifying the desires of the flesh, we go against the desires of the Spirit, keeping us in bondage to sin.
To be truly Spirit-filled is to reject the flesh but to obey the Holy Spirit. When we are self-based and not Spirit-based, all kinds of sin will result. The works of the flesh are evident and can lead us to a terrible life of sorrow and sadness. Eventually, we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, if we yield to the Spirit, the result is a Spirit-controlled temperament. Our character changes simply by obedience to God. Love, peace and joy are the byproducts of a Spirit-filled life, produced by the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The wisdom from the Book of Proverbs teaches us to buy truth and not to sell it. In order to live by truth, we have to pay a price for it. It is so easy to compromise and sell it casually. Living a life of holiness demands a lot from us, we have to be willing and ready to walk in it. Although the price is high, the reward is also sky high. As sin takes away our happiness, health and wealth, holiness can restore them to us.
Make a commitment before the Lord to live a life of holiness now. The best reason to reject sin is that you want to be happy. As you confess your sins before the Lord, joy will return. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and obey Him in everything that you do. Say no to the flesh and the self. Be Christ-centered then joy will be yours.
Ps 105:23-36 Isa 33:13-36:22 Gal 5:13-26 Prov 23:23