Hard and Holy Things
There I was, swaddled in a fluffy blanket and nestled tightly between a few throw pillows that seemed to be giving me a group hug. To say I was comfortable would be quite the understatement. As I formed my Sarah-shaped crater in the couch, I lazily scrolled through my Pinterest feed. That’s when something very small and seemingly insignificant shook me out of my cozy comfort zone. It was a quote, which appeared like this:
That’s when I found my New Year’s resolution. I began reflecting on my resolution for 2014, which was “Do more things rather than collect more things,” and I realize it was a good resolution, but this year I want to be more specific than that. I want to go a few steps further—meaning beyond myself. While you read this article, I hope you too will join me.
Our generation is known for popularizing the “selfie.” Many, if not all, of us have to admit we have taken a selfie a time or two…thousand. Nevertheless, please let us ask ourselves the question, “If we could take selfies of our souls, would they look good enough to post?” What are we doing with our lives? If we took all the filters, facades, and followers away, what would our lives look like? If we tapped beyond the virtual and into the actual, who would we be? Would we be following our own desires for popularity, ease, and convenience? God forbid.
I have had enough of our generation buying into the Hedonistic mindset this world is propagating. Time after time we are told to do what makes us happy, to look out for ourselves, and to follow our heart’s desires, but we know God’s Word says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV). It is not our right to live a life completely pleasing to our desires, constantly feeding into our entertainment feed while this world grows darker and darker.
Let us learn from our vintage Apostolic elders who gave so much of themselves in order to see this message live on to the next generation and to multitudes of people they may have never met across the globe. They were some of the most selfless characters devoting weeks and weeks to revival, giving sacrificially in order for missionaries to preach across the seas, and taxing their own physical health with extended periods of prayer and fasting. In order for us to see these great or even greater things than those who have gone before us, we must not seek just to be like them, but rather let us always be seeking what they sought–the power and presence of Jesus Christ. Are you willing to fill their shoes?
I, for one, want to see the miraculous events I have heard about from past generations. I want to witness thousands receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost and remission of sins in Jesus’ name. I am tired of doing more things just to fill my Instagram feed with visually captivating images. I want to do more of what will make me holy and separated unto God, more of what will reach and save this world, and more of what will please the King rather than the followers.
I propose we do more of what will draw us closer to the Almighty. This generational resolution is so much more than a list of tasks to carry out; it is a way of daily life. Instead of sky-diving, let’s dive headlong into God’s Word. Instead of more diets, let’s hunger and thirst after righteousness. And instead of working harder to save more money, how about we work diligently to save more souls! This world has enough people who know how to look good. It really needs men and women who know how to do hard and holy things.
Now is the time to put this resolution into action. Hyphens have much to offer the local church and community. There are always students in the youth group who need a godly role model, a lonely widow who needs a listening ear and a warm hug, and a missionary working their fingers to the bone in order the preach the gospel. Last, but certainly not the least—prayer is always needed and a church can never have enough of it. Try devoting ten to fifteen more minutes of prayer to your day. There’s always something or someone to pray for. If you have a passion for a specific cause, take that passion and use it to serve. I encourage you to pray about what God could do with you this year, write your prayers down, and meet with your pastor or spiritual leader in order to further implement God’s dealings with you.
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16).
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut and a recent graduate of Urshan College. She is now happily married to Jordan Hudspeth with whom she serves the Hyphen group at The Life Center in Saint Petersburg, Florida. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.