“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that way; wicked fools will not go about on it.” (Isaiah 35:8)
Holiness is such a tricky thing. On the one hand, we are holy because we belong to Jesus; we are given his holiness. Yet, on the other hand, we are also told to strive to be holy—to walk in the Way of Holiness. God’s desire for us is sanctification—that we would become all he intended us to be. The tricky part is that gray area where we cross some kind of line and actually start trying to do it on our own, rather than through his Spirit in us. For we cannot, no matter how hard we try, achieve holiness on our own. We cannot simply change our behavior without God changing our desires. It is an inside out sort of thing, not outside in.
Thus, the more we fall in love with Jesus—the one who redeemed and ransomed us, the one who gave us his holiness—the more we will desire to (and be enabled to) walk in the Way of Holiness. The more like him we will become. Holiness will not feel like some burden to be achieved, but a freedom to enter into; resulting in joy and gladness and delight.