Do you know what it means to live a holy life? When you make a decision to be set apart from the world and live in holiness, you will unlock the supernatural! Get three ways to live a holy life below.
There’s a dimension of living you can only experience when you make a decision to please the Father in every area of your life. In that dimension, Jesus becomes real to you and manifests Himself to you. As you discover how to be holy, His power becomes alive in you.
Just after the turn of the 20th century, God poured out His Spirit and started a revival on Azusa Street in California. It was an awesome time, a time when people’s entire lives were turned inside out. Everything else in their world seemed to lose importance. Supernatural things were happening, and God was manifesting Himself in their midst.
The people involved in the Azusa Street Revival soon began to be known to the world as “holiness” people. They got that title because they were so obviously different from everyone else. Few believers today even know what holiness means. Even fewer understand the outpouring of God that comes to those who dare to step into it.
What Is Holiness?
“You put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” –Ephesians 4:24 (NKJV)
This scripture tells us that righteousness and holiness are two different things. Righteousness is what happened to you when you were born again. You were made righteous when you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. He provided right-standing with God for you at the Cross.
But holiness is another matter. Exactly what does the word holiness mean? It simply means “separation to God” or “conduct befitting those so separated.” To separate means “to set apart, to disunite, to divide, to sever, to disconnect, to part company, to go in a different direction, to cease to be associated, to become distinct or disengage as cream separates from milk and rises to the top.”
Holiness is a decision of your will—it is what you choose to do with your life. It is your conduct—living according to God’s commandments. In short, holiness is doing those things that please Him. It’s what you do with your time and your actions. It is living to please God—and it bears fruit!
As Andrew Wommack has said, “Holiness is a fruit, not the root.” In other words, living a holy life is not the way to God—it is a byproduct of being born again. You don’t live a holy life to get God to love you—He already loves you! You don’t live holy to get saved or to get God to move. You live holy because you are motivated by your relationship with and love for your heavenly Father. You are responding to the love of God rather than trying to get Him to respond to you.
So, how can you live a holy life? When you disconnect from the world, flee from temptation and obey God’s Word, you will live a life that is pleasing to the Lord—you will be holy.
1. Disconnect From the World to Live a Holy Life
“Do not be conformed to this world.” –Romans 12:2 (ESV)
The Bible warns us again and again that there should be a definite line drawn between us and the world. That means our thoughts, actions, words and behaviors should be noticeably different—we should look like Jesus! The Bible says, “As the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living” (1 Peter 1:15, AMPC).
Sadly, that’s not how most Christians live. They go to church and act nicely on Sunday, then live like the world the rest of the week. This should not be! “We have been set apart as holy” (Hebrews 10:10, GW).
To be set apart means we’re not living like the world, not thinking like the world, not sick like the world, not broke like the world, not without resources and power like the world, not engaging in sin like the world. Instead, we’re separated from the world, and walking with God in His ways.
How can we do this? A lot of it has to do with what we’re feeding on. If you spend most of your time watching secular television, listening to secular music, watching the news, and hanging out with unbelievers—you’re unequally yoked with the world, and it will have an effect on you—whether you believe it or not.
In this world, sexual sin, violence, foul language and drunkenness are celebrated, while morality and Christian values are laughed at. That’s why 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”
We should minister to non-Christians—they need the good news. But this scripture is telling us it is not good to have ongoing fellowship with them. Don’t hang out or let your hair down with that group. They’ll end up having a negative effect on you. “If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Sometimes, it can feel challenging to be set apart because it means we stand out, and God knew ahead of time that this would involve persecution. “The world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world” (John 17:14). But remember, great blessings and honor come to those who are persecuted for His sake (Matthew 5:10; 1 Peter 3:13-17).
First John 2:15 (NIV) says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
When you were born again, you were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s Son (Colossians 1:13). You were taken and lifted out of darkness. You were separated. You were severed. Now, you can go back in that darkness if you want to. The devil can’t make you go back to the darkness without your agreement, and God won’t make you stay in the light. It’s your choice.
That’s a sobering thought! But the Bible instructs us to be sober in these last days. It teaches that we should be serious about sanctifying ourselves; that we should “follow…holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, KJV).
If we want to live a holy life, we must be disconnected from the world and its ways, and connected to God and His ways.
“But we’re just human beings,” you may say. “Is it really possible for us to be holy?”
Yes, it is, because we’ve been born again. When that happened, we were separated to God on the inside. Now, God expects us to walk out that separation so that it will take effect on the outside.
Holiness isn’t a scary thing that only a few people achieve. Everyone in the Body of Christ should walk in holiness. We have been given the robe of righteousness, but we have to maintain it. We have the HOLY Spirit living inside us for that purpose—He directs us in holiness. We can do our part if we choose to disconnect from the world.
2. Flee from Temptation, to Live a Holy Life
“Flee the evil desires.” –2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV)
You can resist any temptation that comes your way. Did you know that? We’ve got power. First Corinthians 10:13 says, “When you are tempted, [God] will also provide a way out” (NIV). We must flee from temptation, to live a holy life.
Whose job is it to keep ourselves pure? Whose job is it to straighten out things that are displeasing to God in our lives? To flee from temptation? Is God responsible? Was He responsible for Adam and Eve when they disobeyed Him in the garden? No. He told them exactly what to do. But they had a choice, and they knew what they were doing.
We have a choice, too. “Let us cleanse ourselves” (2 Corinthians 7:1). We’re temples of the Holy Ghost—indwelt by the Spirit of God. So, when our flesh rises up, the Bible says to crucify it (Galatians 5:24).
What does that mean? That means you don’t let your flesh live any way it wants to live. You crucify it. When it wants to do or say things it shouldn’t do or say, you say, “Body, shut up. You are not going there. You are not doing that. I don’t even want to hear that.”
It isn’t a sin to be tempted. Sin is yielding to and acting on it. When temptation comes, it’s often a thought that seems to come out of left field. That is just the devil seeing if you’ll go for it. So, what do you do when that happens? You say, “I rebuke you in the Name of Jesus, Satan. You get out of here.”
Kenneth Hagin said many times: “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.” And that’s exactly the way it is with thoughts from the outside—those temptations coming to you from all directions.
That’s what happened with Joseph. Potiphar’s wife said, “Come to bed with me.” In so many words, he said, “No way.” But one day, she just jerked his clothes off of him. His response? He did exactly what the New Testament says to do, which is “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NIV). And that’s exactly what we need to do—we need to flee from temptation, to be able to live a holy life.
Adultery, fornication and every kind of sexual immorality is in epidemic proportions in the Church—and it’s time to take a stand against Satan’s work. To live a holy life, you have to flee from temptation. Don’t entertain it, don’t consider it, don’t have lunch with it. Don’t think twice about it. Flee.
3. Obey the Word of God to Live a Holy Life
“Be holy in all you do.”—1 Peter 1:15 (NIV)
As we’ve already discovered, holiness simply means separated to God. It’s what you do with your life day by day. It’s ordering your conduct according to the Word of God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If you’re separated to God, you will obey His Word—not just some of the time, and not just by obeying some of His commandments, but all the time, obeying all His commandments to the best of your ability.
If you are living separated to God, disconnected from darkness, you will stand out and be distinguished. Many people are born again, but they never disconnect from their old lives. They never spend enough time hearing from God, reading the Word for themselves, praying, or learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit within themselves—teaching them how to be separate from the world. As a result, they never change on the outside. But the change on the outside is what enables you to walk free.
It’s when you change on the outside that you experience the blessings of God. When you change on the outside, you experience all that God provided for you when He saved you. That’s when you will walk in holiness.
Obeying the Word is the same today as it has always been. Sin hasn’t changed; God’s commandments haven’t changed. The world, society and what is deemed acceptable is always changing. For example, it used to be scandalous to get a divorce. But hearts have hardened, and over time, it has become more and more acceptable—even in the Church. Well, just because things are viewed differently in the world doesn’t mean the Word of God has changed.
So, to live a holy life, we don’t go by what the world says is good and right. We don’t call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). We keep ourselves on God’s side of the line—obeying His Word.
Watch Kenneth Copeland share how when you follow God’s Word, He will manifest Himself to you, and blessings will overtake you!
We keep ourselves on God’s side of the line of walking in love by continually putting the Word in our eyes, in our ears, day by day, letting God speak to us, listening to His correction and instruction, and letting the Word of God prosper our souls. If you aren’t hearing God correct you—you aren’t listening! He will always be correcting you and telling you how to come higher and higher.
Your obedience to His Word is an act of holiness, but only if it is motivated by love (1 Corinthians 13:3). So, be sure your heart is right when you act on the Word.
Ready to learn more about what it means to live a holy life? Check out these 153 Scriptures About Living Holy.
In conclusion, when you disconnect from the world, flee from temptation and obey the Word of God, you will be living a holy life motivated by the love of God. Holiness doesn’t happen to anyone by accident. It requires a decision of the will. Make that decision today.
© 1997 – 2021 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.