January 21, 2014.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselveswith fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
(I Peter 1:13-19)
What does it mean to be holy? A quick Google search yields the definition “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred.” Something that was said at the conference this past weekend has really stuck out in my mind and I have been dwelling on it for a day or two. We are called to be holy, because the Lord is holy. In this sense of the word, I believe the definition “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness” is fitting.. Peter felt a particular desire to make this known to the believers as he talks about holiness quite often. Do we think of ourselves as holy?
I think we fall into a conundrum in our daily lives all too often. I want to please God, but you know, I want to please myself too, and other people. It is true that sometimes these line up and we are able to please all parities involved. But often is the case that we have to choose which to follow and please. Ask the question, “how often do I make the conscious choice to be holy?” If we’re being honest, I don’t think the answer would set well with our conscious.
There’s good news though. I think we are looking at it from the wrong direction. At least I was. I tend to view holiness as an obligation and, quite frankly, something I simply don’t want to be because it isn’t fun; I think I have the wrong idea here. When God said, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2), I don’t think he was saying “I’m going to stop all your fun,” as much as he was saying “a new and better life exists for you.” I think he is calling us to a higher existence in which we can find both satisfaction and blessing. The laws and commands that we follow were not put in place for our harm, but for our benefit. Everything God wants us to do and be, he wants us to do it or be it because it is profitable to us in the long run, and he loves us. I know this may sound a bit cliche, but I think the cliche takes away from the underlying truth of the statement.
I want to be the servant that God wants me to be. I want to be the leader that God wants me to be. We are all called to a purpose, and if we don’t live up to that purpose, I believe we will all give an account on that on the final day. However, this fear is not what should motivate us, rather the understanding that God has graced us with the opportunity to be more than we are or more than we could do alone. Missing out on that gift makes for a sad loss. And neglecting to be holy is neglecting to be found in the throne room of God, as only that which is holy can exist there. Let us all strive to be holy, for the Lord God is holy.
Suggested Daily Reading: I Peter 1-5
May the Lord be with you.