For the many, the illusion of personal holiness never appears on the horizon. Theirs is a quest fraught with frailty and failures, rendering the quest for personal holiness moot as they bask in the unquestioned grace of Jesus, ever cognizant of falling short as a way of life. His way of being and doing becomes a forgotten ideal, reserved for conversations amongst the dreamers, not actual being and doing.
And yes, the grace of Jesus is sufficient as always for even the most frail amongst those trekking after the Serving King. But for the few, those on His heels, ever trekking deeper and deeper into His way of being and doing, personal holiness peeks over the horizon, tempting the accomplished trekker to bask, though just for the moment, in the self-glory of achievement, becoming more like Him than anyone dreamed possible. The fruit of hard work creating the mirage in the sand just ahead.
But the standard of God, glistening in perfection, allows no deviation, no almost there. Nor does God judge on a sliding scale, a compared to before evaluation, in spite of the stunning improvement from the reigning chaos of days gone by. Such comparisons are the illusions of novices, unskilled in the standards of comparison used by the Serving King. The seasoned trekker, fooled by the illusion many times in days gone by, wastes no time dancing with the illusion of perfection as it peeks over the horizon. The vet knows “…whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” The illusion of perfection is a mist gone in the blink of an eye.
Nonetheless, resist the temptation to ignore the illusion peaking over the horizon, content to halt the trek knowing the illusion, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, ‘Christlikeness’, to be unattainable even for the most determined trekker. In the end, just as at the beginning, “…there is only one way in which I can get right with God.” And you are never that ‘way’. He is. But embrace the dream of being and doing as He does. You are far closer than you could have imagined. Step closer. You are closing in on the Highway of Holiness. Trek on…