A Pair of Jeans and a Holy Heart

A Pair of Jeans and a Holy Heart

by Melody Echo | July 1, 2010

A little while back a friend of mine gave me a pair of really cool jeans. They had fancy little sequin decorations that glittered in the sun, creative embroidered patterns, and were just downright stylish and cute without being overly flashy. If I’d gone and bought them myself, I would have paid over a hundred dollars for them, but since my friend’s cousin owned the company that made them, she got what she wanted for free. What a bargain and a rare treat for me, since you’d never find me buying such expensive jeans to begin with!

Besides being really cute, they were so comfortable and I loved wearing them. They were probably the nicest pair of jeans I’d ever owned, only, there was one small problem! Actually, I didn’t notice it right away. But after washing them a time or two, I realized that the inner pocket lining was actually made of dark black fabric and had a faint grey design. The design happened to be a skull with fancy gothic cross bones. Ugh! My thoughts instantly were, Why did they have to spoil a perfectly good pair of jeans by using this fabric inside? and, How come I never noticed this before?

Then, I was faced with a dilemma. It’s a dilemma we all come up against when no one knows what’s happening except for us and God. Do I ignore the design and keep wearing the jeans? No one else will know, it’s not like they see inside my pockets or anything, so I’m not gonna offend anyone. And of course God knows I don’t subscribe to whatever these emblems represent! Or do I give them up because the emblems they embrace are contrary to my Prince and King of eternal life? I don’t want to do anything to dishonor my King, even if no one is looking!

For those of us seeking to honor God in all areas of our life, the decision seems like an easy one – it’s obvious right? Why even question? But how many professing to be surrendered and devoted Christians come to these types of scenarios over and over again, day in and day out, and decide, It’s really not that big a deal, God knows my heart and no one else will know, so why be so paranoid? Or they think, Well, we do live in the real world after all, and we can’t avoid everything! I’m already seeking to steer clear as much as possible of the worldly lifestyle, but I don’t have time to sweat the small stuff? God knows I am seeking to live for Him!

Yes, we do live in the real world – and the dilemmas aren’t getting easier!

Is it just me, or have you noticed that the stores with the really loud heavy metal music, or the worldly pop songs with strong aggressive beats are usually the very stores sporting the worldliest fashions, tightest tops, most provocative coverlets, and the most ridiculous worldly wear? Just think about it – you don’t find Coldwater Creek or Eddie Bauer playing that kind of music! Nor do you find them sporting the same style of ungodly provocative fashions. I have come to realize more and more that if something is wrong or intended for evil, the devil has more than one way of marking his ground, and we need to be on the watch and observant. As such, if I see one “mark” of the enemy (like hearing his music, or seeing the skull and cross bones emblem), I am learning to assume that I am not on safe ground and to not even go browsing through his territory. Some of my friends say that’s a bit “overboard” – but think about it. Would you want to go in a store that is spending at least 90 percent of its time defaming and dishonoring your true Lover and King? Yeah, there are some cute and innocent enough looking clothes in those places, but is that where we as set-apart, God-honoring, Christ-fearing women should be?

So, my blue jeans have a problem, but again, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that our heart hangs in the balance. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (KJV). Holiness of heart is what God is after. We can put on a great “act.” We can make a profession of living a godly lifestyle. We can do the right thing. But if God doesn’t have our heart, if we are doing the right thing even for the wrong reason or motive, then it’s really not the right thing after all – for He knows our heart.

Now if any of you are like me, “holiness” is not really an adjective that you would think of using to describe yourself, your life, or your heart. That’s a God word, that really seems to fit God alone.

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11 KJV).

But for some reason, God seems to think that it should fit “us” too, because it’s quite plain in Scripture that we are to be holy like Him!

“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 20:7 KJV).

But what does it mean to be “holy?” Well, one thing I can say with all certainty is that it means a whole lot more than I could begin to expound upon here. But while doing a study on the topic awhile back, I did come across some inspiring thoughts. If you look up this word in the Hebrew, it means not only to be the “Holy One” – as referring to God, but it means to be “sacred, to be separate, to be set apart.” When I saw that the first time, I thought, Wow! Now that is language I can understand. And that is something I want to be, for in God’s call for us to be holy and like Him, it’s very simple. It simply starts with His call to set apart our hearts for Him alone, from every thought, to every motive, to every desire, these are to be sanctified and separate from the world – only for Him!

Are the little things really that important? I mean, do I really have to be “set apart from the world” in how I speak to my mother? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I respect my father? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I dress, or what kind of jeans I wear? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in what kind of stores I allow myself to browse in? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I think about that good-looking guy in class? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I spend every single moment of my time?

While some may say, this is “overboard” and “legalistic,” I counter that it’s really not. For again, if you really loved someone, and yet you were participating in something that hurt them 90 percent of the time, or even 10 percent of the time, would you keep doing it? No, of course not, because that’s not love.

“According as He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4 KJV).

I guess by now you know that I got rid of the jeans, right? Because I don’t want to do anything to hurt my King! And after all, God has made His desires quite plain:

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy...” (Lev. 11:44 KJV).

But thankfully, He doesn’t just give us His desires, or give us His commands – He also gives us the provisions to fulfill them!

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4 KJV).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1 KJV).

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thess. 4:7 KJV).*

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