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Day Twenty-One Of Consecration: Holiness? Have It Your Way

IMG_0085Today, I have the distinct honor of having a very close friend and sister of mine present a guest piece for our Morning Meditation. Her name is Ericka Arthur, or you can just simply call her, ‘e’…She has been a great source of encouragement to me both before and during this consecration process. As I read the piece she submitted upon request, I was truly blessed by the simplicity in which ‘e’ presents the Gospel message and I am certain that you will be equally blessed as well.
 Visit ‘e’  at:
@IndigoInterlude on Twitter
and
Also, check out ‘e”s husband’s new project:
KEVIN ARTHUR’S DEBUT ALBUM ‘MERGE’ NOW ON ITUNES! https://itun.es/us/QUXu6
So without further ado…I introduce to you…
‘e’
HOLINESS? HAVE IT YOUR WAY
 

I was what they called, “on fire for the Lord”.  Witnessing left and right to all but inanimate objects about the goodness of Jesus who is the Christ. No longer considered by onlookers as a “Babe in Christ”; I facetiously, may have been viewed as perhaps a 5th grader in the things of God at that time. Eh…I on the other hand didn’t see it that way. I like to think there’s a reason we’re never called adults in the Bible but always referred to as sheep and children.  

 Remaining transparent about my human frailty made me approachable and relatable to all. It was not unusual for coworkers to reach out to me for advice. It was God’s love for all through me that empowered those I came in contact with, to be wholly themselves in my presence. I would never initiate conversations about faith at work. My mother always taught me business was business.

 Never confusing my love with acceptance or an endorsement of matters we didn’t see eye to eye on, conversations flowed freely and often at work.  So you could imagine my surprise when another coworker pulled me to the side to relay her concerns. Unbeknownst to me she had been closely monitoring my activity. She said, “I see that you’re a Christian and you keep encouraging people about the goodness of God. I’m a Christian too.” Oh this was great, I thought! The only thing missing was like a secret handshake from the local lodge or something! Then she hit me with, “I also noticed that you wear pants. If you’re a real Christian, you should not wear pants. Women should only wear (long) skirts or dresses.” I was floored by her comment. I mean, I thought we were both in the Army of the Lord, on the same team you know? She went on and on about what she noticed. Well what I noticed is she failed to mention she was the mother of five sons by five different men. Perhaps she didn’t notice that it appeared as though her skirts and dresses made access to the Holy place a bit easier… Selah. 
 
Holiness…without which no man shall see the LORD. (Hebrews 12:4 KJV)
A few years before that I sang in a gospel group comprised of 3 women & 3 men. We had been invited to a church to sing one evening. We were so excited to minister in song and fellowship with other believers. That was until we were stopped at the front door of the church and denied access. We were then escorted around the corner to the side entrance. The women were handed Vaseline, Kleenex and a Ziploc bag. We were instructed to remove our makeup and put all jewelry except engagement rings or wedding bands into the Ziploc bag. We were then handed prayer cloths to cover our heads. We had traveled so far to sing we did as requested and were then permitted into the sanctuary. I remember singing through, watery eyes, flared nostrils and gritted teeth that night. The aforementioned encounters I shared are just two of the dozens of true stories I’ve experienced. I’ve endured and survived man’s futile attempts at holiness which have a tendency to exclude those who need Him the most. It’s a wonder I still love God. It’s a wonder a lot of us do.
 
Holiness…without which no man shall see the LORD. (Hebrews 12:4 KJV)
 
​When asked to write a piece on holiness, consecration and the like; immediately the poet in me responded. It’s been that way for several months now. I had to force myself to resist writing a poem and instead submit to the other layers that make me, me. A college graduate. A Spirit filled Minister who has even matriculated at cemetery  seminary and used to serve communion. A sought after conference speaker, Worship Leader, Choir Director, Christian Talk Show Co-Host, and Sunday School teacher. All of that in my back pocket and yet I had nothing to say. Crickets. Nothing was there. There was an eerie echo in the chambers of my heart. Me. A talkative woman of faith. Licensed to preach and laying low. Empty. Then I thought. Wait. Who better a candidate than I? 
 
You see…emptiness proceeds holiness and holiness is impossible if we are full of anything but Him.
 
I really believe that man’s futile attempt at holiness is a trick of the enemy because the enemy knows a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. We have a habit of making things so much more difficult in this faith walk than it really is. The enemy, and I’m referring to Satan at this time, knows that if we can be separated by denomination and polarized by minor differences in how we worship, that we will never experience the true power of God. As one. On one accord! Every household of faith is different. I think it is very disrespectful to govern yourself when visiting other places of worship in a manner they frown upon. If I know in advance there is a certain dress code, I abide by the rules of the house. Period. However as the Body of Christ we have a tendency to major in the minors and minor in the majors. Haven’t we figured it out by now? That there is strength in unity? How confusing it must be for those on the outside looking at believers who can’t even agree on what day of the week to worship!
 
You see the beautiful thing about holiness and consecrating ourselves as unto the Lord means we do just that. Everything as unto HIM. Consecration simply means setting yourself apart as unto the Lord. Think of it as reserved seating for someone who has exclusive VIP access in your life! Yes, there are times when we are seeking GOD during periods of consecration that we do have to Control + Alt +Delete! We have to control what we allow into our eye and ear gates. We have to choose alternate methods of coping and handling matters in an effort to hear God more clearly. Finally we need to be ready to delete some things; be it habits, toxic relationships or distractions. Holiness is not shooting our wounded fellow Christian soldiers but instead looking back over our shoulder to see who has fallen by the wayside. Holiness is not ignoring the muffled cries of those hurting. Holiness is not coming to work late but leaving a tract on your bosses chair. There is a problem when your Bible is bigger than your witness! 
 
Holiness is setting apart your life as unto God, not getting anointed on a case by case basis. Though many may crash your consecrated spaces and have opinions about what your life altars should look like,  we really only have an audience of One! The One that matters. Almighty GOD! That’s not a popular thought and unfortunately the voice of churchdom is a lot louder than the voice of thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven at times. Mere mortals controlling the lives of others in an effort to kill the flesh of uncircumcised hearts but instead end up crushing the sincerest hearts. We often only want to speak of God’s mercy and love but He IS Holy. If He didn’t judge righteously, dealing with sin, as HE defines sins, then He wouldn’t be a Holy God! Every encounter with God is not going to be a certified Kum Ba Yah moment. According to Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), “The heart is deceitful above above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Then verse 10 goes on to say, “I the LORD search the heart…” God searches hearts, yes we have the ability to discern but we see through a glass darkly. GOD knows the intent of all of our hearts. So we must be very careful on demanding Holiness..OUR WAY
 
Holiness…without which no man shall see the LORD. (Hebrews 12:4 KJV)
 
 Finally, holiness is right…but so is being nice. When walking the earth realm, the LORD Jesus Christ was not just Holy. He was Holy AND SINLESS but also Holy AND HUMBLE. Holy AND JUST. Holy AND LOVING. HOLY AND HEALING others. It is my prayer that in my emptiness, God will have full reign over me, washing and filling me over and over again. I pray that I will not live a life based on photo ops. You know. Looking the part but lacking the power. That there will be room for God to freely move in, out, around, about and interrupting me as HE so chooses. Laying aside every weight and sin that so easily besets me.  Laying down my will for His will and not the feigned appearance of it. That I just don’t say I love Him but that I fully adhere to His word as recorded in John 14:15 which says that if I love Him, I will obey His commandments. It is my prayer that I live a kind life of holiness, not in demonstration unto man, desperately clamoring for their smug approval but a demonstration of His love in such abundance it draws others to Him. 
 
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and so it is with my mouth I declare:God you are HOLY! You are not the man upstairs and Jesus is not my homeboy. I bow my knee on this side of Heaven giving you the glory! LORD please help us to embrace holiness Your way, and not hurt and damage others striving to do the same. Amen 
 
 

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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7 Comments on Day Twenty-One Of Consecration: Holiness? Have It Your Way

  1. Thank you so much Sean for the invitation and for allowing me to sing in my own voice in your space…

    Cyber hugs,

    e

  2. Reblogged this on authenticitee and commented:
    HONORED! I was invited by Min. Sean Mungin of Joshua Generation Ministries to write a piece about HOLINESS. Honest reflection on the subject resulted in my sharing about being denied entrance to a church years ago…all in the name of HOLINESS.

    Join me on this reflection as I write candidly from my perspective as a Christian woman. Also please check out and subscribe to The Joshua Generation Ministries blog for daily devotionals and encouraging impartation!

    Abundant blessings,

    e

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