I'm here at the beach with my family and loving every minute. The kids and I were searching strenuously for seashells yesterday, a purple one to be exact. With the vast selection of shells at our very fingertips each was distinguishable by its unique color. Distinguishable by its shape and luster. So many of them, we didn't find our purple one though.
"It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the Child of God from empty professors." A.W. Pink
It is easy to see in our lives whether the work of the Spirit is actually happening, easier than looking for a complete, non fractured, purple shell in the immensity of the coast. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14 that "the love of Christ controls us..." That is, that our great motivation, our ultimate drive in all we do is our love for Christ. When we understand the gospel and the grace of God toward us in sending a rescuer to save us from his wrath and restore us to right relationship with him we love Him for it!
But it doesn't stop there. See what Paul says in verse 15: "and he died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose again on their behalf." The great evidence, the distinguishing trait, of a life that is under the lordship of Christ and surrendered to the work of the Spirit is not complete perfection, but a rigorous striving, fighting and wrestling against sin and a zealous, joyful and fruitful pursuit of righteousness. (Read Romans 7 and you will see the most detailed picture of what beats inside the heart of a child of God.)
Do you fight against sin? Do you abhor, hate, disdain it? Not simply because you want to feel a moral "cleaness" of your own but because you want so badly to please Christ? To hate what he hates. To love what He loves. Ask God to search your heart this week. Have you become "ok" with certain sins in your life? Repent and run to Christ. He will mercifully forgive you and the Spirit will give you power to live a life that pleases God. Distinguished, separate, different. Holy.