God would never make unreasonable and unattainable demands on man if those demands were impossible. In his sermon on the mount, Christ Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48). To our Lord and Saviour Jesus, it is man’s duty to seek perfection, and to be as His Heavenly Father.
Some men of old sought and attained this standing with God; even in Old Testament times, when the Holy Spirit was not readily available to man, and never dwelt in man as we are blessed to have in our day. Among such exemplary men was Enoch. He walked with God, in perfection for 300 years, and was translated one day and taken to Heaven. He never saw death (Genesis 5:24).
God testified concerning Job, that he was a perfect man. He asked the Devil, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8 KJV). God was right concerning Job and his testimony was confirmed; with every evil the Devil brought upon him, he never cursed and abandoned God, as was the subject of his trail by the Devil. He stood in spite of his frailties.
How were these men able to do it in their day? And why do we find it extremely difficult in ours, even with the Holy Spirit around to help us?
From the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I believe it has to do with the condition of our minds and hearts. These men of old made a conscious effort to walk in perfection before God. They made up their minds and settled in their hearts that they would obey the voice of God, and duly consecrate their lives to Him.
Consider Daniel, even in captivity, at a place where his God wasn’t known, he purposed in his heart not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8). And that, if others of Judah were doing those abominations and compromising their values, he would choose to consecrate his life to God on the foreign and heathen land of Babylon. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). Another of his kind was Joseph, who chose to flee naked, and later endure injustice than to defile himself with his master’s wife (Genesis 39:13). It was all a matter of the condition of their minds and hearts. These were resolute men whose convictions ran deep.
God’s standards have not changed. He said, “For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6). Rather, it is man, who through the deceitfulness of sin has been hardened (Hebrews 3:13) and lost the will to pursue perfection before his Maker. God spoke about two virtues of a perfect man in the case of Job (Job 1:8). These are:
1] The fear of the Lord.
2] The abstinence from evil.
These are the marks of a perfect man in the sight of the Almighty God. The fear of the Lord makes one revere and honour God and His Word. Godly fear is to be obedient to the commandments of God, and to live by His precepts. Christ said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). We should resolve in our minds to revere God and the things that concern Him, and should detest and shun all forms of evil (sin), if we desire to attain His mark of perfection in our time.
We might look weird in choosing this path of perfection, in a sinful world. But it’s alright and praiseworthy to Him unto whom we shall render accounts of our lives. Let’s be thus minded of this truth. The Holy Spirit is available to help us, once we make our minds and settle in our hearts to go God’s way.
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalm 37:37 KJV). It is possible to be perfect in our time. Never give up when you fall! Get up, confess your sins to God, and get back on track. Let’s strive to reach God’s mark of perfection.
May God bless and offer you a prosperous Year, as you seek to reach His mark of perfection!