“He chose us to be holy and blameless…..” (Ephesians 1:4).
Here then is God’s purpose in choosing us; that we should be holy. And why? Because He is holy and we are made to be in His image. It was always God’s intention and desire that man should choose to be like God, his Father; God’s essential nature is holiness; if we are to be His children, how can we be anything else?
We substitute a host of other purposes and life goals; we think of life as the pursuit of happiness, or the pursuit of good health, or the pursuit of material comfort in this world. It is none of these things and, if they are allowed free rein, they will lead us into demonic bondage.
The only goal God gives us is to allow ourselves to be made holy.
“Become holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
He is quoting Leviticus here, but throughout the scriptures the demand is the same – be holy! In this scripture of Peter’s, the verb “become” is in the imperative, declaring plainly enough that it is not an option or request; it is a command! Moreover, it is in the middle voice, indicating that it is not something we can actively undertake on our own, but must allow it to be done in us. We cannot make ourselves holy; only God is holy and we must partake of His holiness by becoming like Him, by allowing His divine nature and character to be formed within us.
Our contribution is surrender; that involves our putting down the self-nature with its “this world” focus and its worldly lusts and desires. Only by doing that will we be able to become “partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
The Father hopes that we will do as He commands; that is His wish and His desire; but whether or not that happens is up to us. While we don’t, and can’t, make ourselves holy, we can either facilitate the work of the Holy Spirit or resist; we resist by clinging to the self-nature, by clutching at the temporal things of this world, by giving preference to the thorns that strangle the work of the Word of God within us (see the Parable of the sower).
But whatever we do, however we react to the Father’s demand for surrender and holiness, He knows; for, as Jesus said; “the Father is watching” (Matthew 6:6).