An extremely wise man penned these thought-provoking words:
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Within this short Scripture, we discover an exceptionally significant truth: the righteous are bold as a lion. This truth helps to unlock the mystery of our chronic spiritual weakness and daily struggles to become Christ-like. What is that mystery? It is a mystery that the devil, the foe of our soul, knows—and a truth that few believers understand. If the righteous are bold as a lion, then it follows that purity produces power! What else follows? The corollary truth: if purity produces power, then sin produces weakness.
In light of this truth, what is the devil’s strategy? He seeks to sidetrack us into as much contamination as he possibly can to render us powerless in the Kingdom of God. When sin enters in it brings shame, which in turn removes our boldness and confidence replacing it with fear and timidity.
By this sobering truth we may judge our true spiritual maturity: if we lack power, we lack holiness. We may have received Christ’s righteousness imputed to us at our salvation, but we are still walking in the flesh as carnal Christians. Take this to heart, brothers and sisters in Christ: a lack of demonstrated power is a testimony to our carnality.
We must walk in purity if we are to walk in real power.
Once we discover the foremost reason for our lack of genuine power—a lack of genuine holiness—we can move forward with a repentant heart. We can ask the Lord to deliver us from everything that separates us from Him, be it carnal thoughts, bitter root judgments, toxic emotions or disobedient, ungodly habits and attitudes. Without question, our sin is the principal reason for our continual failure to walk like Christ. The Word tells us, “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). If we are not Christ like—loving like Christ, behaving like Christ and thinking like Christ—then we have a sin problem, plain and simple.
God’s warning is exceedingly clear: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NIV). We must live lives of radical holiness, no matter the consequences—but don’t confuse holiness with man-made legalism. True holiness is born of the law of the Spirit and produces overflowing life and peace, while religious legalism is born of the letter of the law and produces only barrenness and death. Remember, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Join me in David’s prayer and ask God to create within us a pure, clean heart (Psalms 51:6), knowing that God is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and sin (1 John 1:9). He freely gives us the clean heart we desire (Psalms 51:10).
Lift up your head and rejoice! Reject sin and shame, knowing you have been forgiven. You have been given a fresh start in Christ our righteousness.