Holy, Holy, Holy
God is Holy. We know that God is holy. We sing “holy, holy, holy” in church. We read of His holiness all throughout scripture. And yet, I was just telling Jeff this morning that I still can’t grasp His holiness. I’ve been doing this study on the attributes of God; it has been such a beautiful journey rediscovering the truths of God. I’ve studied His faithfulness, love, goodness, presence and sovereignty--loved every bit of it. I mean, ate it up.
But this past week, I studied His holiness and for some reason I trudged through it. Why? Why don’t I cling to God’s holiness as much as His other attributes? Why do I not get as excited, or cherish this quality, as much as the others. I should. No other quality is talked about as much in scripture as His holiness. His holiness is foundational to all of His other qualities, for without it, His other qualities diminish a bit.
Maybe it’s because His holiness is something that is hard for me to grasp because it’s so other than me. I’ve never met anyone that is holy. I’ve never seen holiness displayed on earth--it alone is the Lord’s. Maybe it scares me a bit because I know deep down how far from holy I am.
However, holiness is essential to who God is. Every quality, every attribute of God, flows out of His holiness. He is God because He is holy. He is exalted, set apart, majestic.
Holiness is being set apart from evil. God is set apart. He has no evil, no ill will or ill intent. He can’t. He only is good, perfect, blameless, beautiful, and true. Everything He does, everything that happens, flows out of His holiness--His good and perfect way.
Crazy thing is that now because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are declared holy. Just as we are. Why? Because Jesus stands in our place. We are blameless. We are clean. We are spotless. We are called priests.
Hard to believe, I know. I still struggle to fully believe this truth because I know that I do not act or think as though I’m holy. I sin. I mess up. I hurt people. I complain. I’m selfish and doubtful. But that’s the beautiful thing--God knows that. And He still declares that we are holy. That’s who we are. That’s our identity. Our lives then are to be lived out, learning to live as we are called. To pursue holiness. To pursue blamelessness. Not to earn God’s favor, but because we already have God’s favor.
Holiness makes us beautiful and free. Beauty and freedom come when evil and sin are absent. Have you ever walked with a friend, seeing them entrenched in a sin or a struggle, and then watched them be set free from that sin or been healed, and seen how beautiful they have become. Oh, they were beautiful before--but now! Now they have this deep, inner beauty that shines forth God’s good work in them. And holiness brings freedom because it’s the absence of bitterness, envy, jealousy, & selfishness.
Sometimes God calls us to walk through valleys, to experience trials, to trudge through them, in order to make us holy. He knows that those moments, those seasons, if we seek Him in them, will mold us into beautiful children, free from this world and sin, and will cause us to learn the joy of being set apart for Him.
And so here’s the sweet truth: God is holy, declares us holy, and commands that we be holy. Why? Because He wants what is best for us. He is for us. He doesn’t command this so we’ll have this unattainable attribute to obtain, but He does so because He wants to make us beautiful and free.
So, although I still don’t fully grasp God’s holiness, I pray that I will seek Him more as a Holy God, and that I’ll live more as I am. So that I’ll be made more like Him--beautiful and free.
How does knowing God has already declared us holy affect you? Why would you pursue holiness? How can you practically pursue holiness this week?
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