I've seen believers and pastors who looked okay while engrossed in church ministries but went wild with sin when exposed to the real world. Some drowned in greed, others wallowed in lust, fornication, adultery, and other forms of sexual immorality. They didn't have the heart to manage things in the world even while soaked in church ministries. Church attendance or ministries cannot empower you to overcome the world. They just incubate sin, nourishing and growing it in a quiet environment waiting for the right time to explode like a time bomb.
In fact, the church as it is today (the church put up by men for men) is in no position to handle money the way the Acts church was able to. Yes, there are big churches with lots of money today, but they reek of corruption and wicked ulterior motives. You hear of such stories left and right while their leaders try to cover up everything to maintain a paper-tiger immaculate image. A useless bunch.
How many, for instance, have ended up in sexual immorality once they start earning big income? The trend seems to be pecuniary gain followed by pride, self-conceit, and then sexual immorality. Many have not been able to repent and go back to the Lord. Many choose to remain with their live-in partners rather than to their original spouses. These are really the last days.
If you look okay and seem to have a healthy church life while boxed within the four walls of church ministry, don't think for a sec that you're approved of God. That's not the true holiness gauge. Then what is?
Live Holy in the World
Though we are not of this world, we are in the in it and should "overcome" it, the Master said. Because He overcame the world, so should we--that's what he said to his true disciples.And overcoming does not mean we immerse ourselves in church ministries, even if these ministries are done in the world or in worldly places. There's still the tendency to be out of touch from the world's realities while under the aegis of institutionalized church ministries. There's still the monastical seclusive effect.
Thus, there are lots of pastors who hide behind their titles as they seek to gain the world's approval. Showing off their pastoral "badge" is like an access code to people's trust and confidence, and that places them in the unrealistic (superficial) nature of the world. You'd never have a real feel of the world by hiding behind your church ministries. I cannot imagine Jesus going around showing off that he was the Christ, so people would respect and listen to him. He just went around as a son of a carpenter and even forbade his disciples from telling people who he really was, until the proper time.
We should live the Jesus LIFE while involved in the world. That's the true holiness gauge. Don't announce that you are doing a church ministry or that you're a church minister because that would most probably elicit respect for institutionalized religion from religious people, and that would produce the monastical seclusive effect that would secure you from being in touch with the real world.
So live as an ordinary person while you get involved in the world, unprotected by synthetic religious covering. This way, you can really gauge the true strength of your holy life--if you in fact have it. People will tempt you with money, fornication, sexual immorality and other forms of corruption like they would ordinary people they meet in the world. Sexy girls or attractive men will lure you with no-holds-bar, and then your true holiness condition will be exposed before you. That's the true holiness gauge.
Jesus was exposed to such tremendous worldly exposure. He was known to be a teacher, but he exposed himself to "sinners" and tax collectors as a mere neighborhood friend. The Pharisees wouldn't dare do the same. They were protected by their made-up Pharisaical image, wearing their long robes and turbans as "badges" to protect themselves from being exposed openly to the real world out there. You can be in the real world and still be thoroughly out of touch with reality--and never gauge your true spiritual condition.
Having a true holiness gauge is vital to being God's flesh in the world. God's flesh means you know your true spiritual condition--that you have the spiritual strength that Jesus himself has, because Jesus lives in you 100 percent. You have the Jesus DNA.