By Joel Comiskey, check out Joel’s latest book, Living in Victory
Have you ever connected holiness with evangelism? Scripture does: The writer of Hebrews says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 11:14).
People believe when they see changed lives. When they witness a person transformed by the gospel, they are attracted to Jesus. The opposite is also true. Hypocrisy in the church is one of the key reasons for people to resist Christianity. Those who say they believe and live like the devil are a scourge to the Christian faith. They turn off many to the gospel.
This month, we’ve been exploring how Covid-19 has helped us to press pause, do a deep dive of reflection, and then to press play again. How has Jesus been working in your life during these months? As I coach pastors, one of my reflection questions is, “What is the one area that you are most constantly asking God to change in your life?” We talk and pray about those areas in the ongoing sessions.
God has granted me the opportunity to study and visit some of the largest cell churches in the world. Many of these churches featured weekend retreats, usually called Encounter with God retreats. The purpose of these retreats is to break the bondages and strongholds of sin in a person’s life so that he or she can walk in spiritual freedom. I believe that God uses retreats and camps to work deeply in our lives. But there is also a danger in living today on yesterday’s one-time experience.
We need to walk in daily repentance. Jesus wants to set us free daily from bondages and strongholds. He said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36). And the good news is that Jesus is always right there to help us to deeper. He desires to continually set us free.
Jesus desires to work within us as we recognize our sin, confess it and receive His cleansing. Hebrews 9:14 tells us that “the blood of Christ is able to cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Covid-19 has provided a unique opportunity to dive deep into God’s holiness as allow him to set us free. Here are some resources that might help:
- My own book Encounter
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
- Overcoming the Darkside of Leadership by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima
Holiness evangelism. As Jesus changes us more and more, others will see that change and believe. Let’s allow him to set us free today.