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Holiness and Purity

One man's long journey from conviction and repentance to freedom and joy.

Many things become stumbling blocks in a man’s life, painfully difficult to overcome as we pursue Christlikeness. The one most painful for men is the sin of our eyes.

For myself, when I came to Christ, the idea Jesus had forgiven me of my past was profoundly impactful to my life. However, I didn’t grow up in the church, and my father never understood the need to lead me to any semblance of righteousness. I am not sure that was a word that he was familiar with, as he had a brutal hatred for anything that resembled religion, which framed his hedonistic behavior. So, my pre-Christian life only had that as a template for my adult life.

I married the woman who led me to Jesus at about the time I was the most disillusioned with life. I was, and am, irrevocably grateful to her and my Lord for His forgiveness. But as life continued, we had children, and jobs came and went with all the accompanying stress. I realized that I had been forgiven, but my eyes still wandered. The deeper I pursued my Lord, the more painful it became not to rid myself of this burden. My attempts at purity and Holiness failed with every shameful attempt.

The trials and tribulations we all go through drove me to prayer. I would walk in the early hours of the morning, praying in desperation for God to change my circumstances. Over time, I learned to hear His voice. But I still struggled with the fact that there was and is so much pain, which my Lord didn’t seem to be concerned with.

Never did any of those questions lead me to believe He wasn’t listening or that He didn’t care because I had already experienced His presence and His supernatural answers to prayer in other ways. I think I was just desperate for His answers to the desperation in my Heart. That desperation led to losing my temper with Him one cold night on a private California beach. I let loose with every ounce of confusion, anger, pain, and a litany of expletives an old Coastie can unleash. 

He answered me with the overpowering physical touch of righteous, loving anger. I spontaneously began to speak in tongues. To be clear, I had never believed in that or wanted that gift. This became one of the most monumental moments of my life. Every example of this gift I had experienced exhibited an unacceptable level of “Weird”. But I couldn’t avoid the truth of His touch and His Holy presence. In the midst of this experience, I realized that He had finally answered me. 

These are the experiences no one can take from me—the life milestones that illustrate and color the undying reality of my identity in Jesus and my citizenship in Heaven.

That said, one moment recently changed my life. It happened on St. Patrick’s Day, 2022, in the early hours of the morning while I was praying. Specifically, I was praying for permission to see His Face and for Him to make me holy and pure like Him. I had been getting up early frequently in the quest to do what Jesus did first every day, which was to talk with the Father. I was praying relentlessly, desperately, and passionately for those things over the previous couple of years. I needed more of His Presence and was going to keep pressing in until He blessed me.

That morning I encountered a side of His presence I had only experienced on that beach. The heaviness of His Holiness settled on me like a lead blanket. I couldn’t move. I didn’t dare try. I didn’t want to disturb whatever it was He was doing. This lasted for almost an hour and finally lifted. I knew He had done something in me, but He didn’t say a word while this went on. 

I discovered what had happened only a couple of months later. I realized that my eyes weren’t straying. I had lost that pain and frustration. He healed me from my lust. Since then, I have walked in heightened revelation and imagination. The other day, during our pre-service prayer, a young woman was struggling with doubt. I looked at her and said, “The truth of your inheritance and identity in Heaven contains no doubt.”

This surprised her, and she asked me to repeat it. I tried to repeat it, but I think I ended up paraphrasing myself. But I realized my Trust in Jesus is so solid that I can’t remember the last time I thought my prayers came from a position of doubt. I think the only answer for that is what happened to me on St. Patrick’s Day, 2022. 

All of this has cemented my understanding of the importance of Holiness in prayer, especially prayer against what are called principalities and powers. This reminds me of the experiences of the Desert Fathers (monks), who endured solitude to give their lives to pursuing Jesus to the exclusion of anything else.

Please understand that I am not bragging that I am better than anyone because of this experience. Maybe you could say I was and am significantly more desperate to live the truth of my citizenship in Heaven. I have been healed of strongholds that held me captive since I was young. I am infinitely grateful to My Lord for this. My life has been one of confirmation after confirmation of His destiny for my life. That truth and trust do not contain the potential for doubt.

Here on Earth, as it is in Heaven, our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20). The Truth of who we are as the New Creation defines where our prayer comes from. Pray from that place. Confidence, joy, and trust drive our authority over doubt, enabling our ministry in the gifts. 

Trust—complete trust in His truth internalized and married to a Holy lifestyle produces a powerful prayer life. Doubt is not a lack of faith. It comes from a lack of practicing your identity or risk-taking in this finite world. And, from what I see, from a wrong or mistaken perspective of the place we pray from. Personal supplication is the Earth to Heaven prayer. Intercession and intercessory prayer for people, places, and countries come from Heaven to Earth prayer.

Pray from Heaven. There is no doubt in Heaven. Actualize and identify fully and with a Holy finality (No going back) with your place as the Bride. 


Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

Please Read/Respond to Comments – on Medium

AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 

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