Settling for Less: A Life Without Holiness - Pastor Zack

     I once heard a sermon by Craig Groeschel that was simply titled "Better."  In this sermon he surmised that many Christians live lives that are not altogether bad in fact they may even be good, however, God wants better for us.  Too often we settle for less than best and we have a "good enough" outlook on life and our walk with the Lord.  This has been the epidemic that has spread throughout the American church and is, what I believe to be, the cause of mediocre-luke-warm "Christianity."  

     This very subject is very personal to me, because it played a vital role in my salvation story.   I had grown up in the church, I had believed Christ to be my Savior, but my inability to overcome sin kept me from being a Christian.  Due to poor soteriology (study of salvation) and what I believe to be an incomplete definition of sin I thought that not sinning was the key to living the Christian life...well that flew like a lead balloon and it felt like I would take one step forward and three steps back.  So I gave up.  Clearly, I could not live a life without sin, so if I was going to be a sinner, I might as well be good at it.  Until, through Scripture, the Lord showed me that living a Christian life was so much more than not sinning.  God gave me this phrase: "It's not about not sinning, it's about living to glorify me in all that you do; by doing so sinning will, in a sense, fall by the wayside."

But sin is merely the symptom of the greater problem; a heart not inclined towards bringing glory and honor to the Lord.

     Through progressing in maturity and in my sanctification what the Lord has shown me is that there is better for me.  Here is the question that a large majority of "Christianity" is boiled down to these days: Is what I'm doing sinful?  On one hand this is not a bad question, in fact it is a necessary question, but is it the best question?  I would propose that the better question is this: Does what I'm doing bring glory to God?  You see, the first question focuses on the sin while the latter question focuses on God.  Richard Foster speaks to this notion that in order for us to change externally something must first change internally; he correctly states that, "When we are dealing with heart work, external actions are never the center of our attention. Outward actions are a natural result of something far deeper, far more profound."  Please don't hear what I'm not saying, I don't want to minimize sin.  Sin is bad. Sin separates us from The Father.  Sin brings about death.  Sin is what nailed Christ on the cross.  But sin is merely the symptom of the greater problem; a heart not inclined towards bringing glory and honor to the Lord.  

     So how do I settle for less?  By focusing on just getting by rather than thriving.  By asking, Is what I'm doing sinful?  We are called to live lives of holiness.  Holiness doesn't ask "is this sinful?"  Holiness asks "How can I bring glory to God?"  We sell God and ourselves short when we strive for anything besides holiness.  I don't want less, I want all that God has for me and more!