Everyday Holiness this is my website’s new tagline so I thought we could talk about it today. Not that I am an expert on holy living. In fact, at one point I would have said, “Holiness? Me? I am a long way from that!” Thankfully, God’s Word says that He does the work of transforming us. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2). A few years ago, God started to change the way I think about holiness.
They say that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body. I think that what most people mean by this is that it is painful to have something incredibly dear to you be so vulnerable in this big, bad world. But what I see is, as my children walk around, they reveal what is within my heart.
The choices I make in my weak moments, my kiddos repeat…thank you Christmas and Halloween candy for outing me. The thoughts I think out loud, they repeat…even to the other drivers who cannot actually hear either of us. And any impatience, bitterness, or selfishness they see in me, they repeat. Sometimes the picture of me, seen in them, is not very flattering. This comes as no surprise to God. He knows me all too well.
You have searched me, LORD,
and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You, LORD, know it completely.
He knows me. He sees how often I miss the mark: 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.” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holy in all your conduct? How can this ever be said of me, Lord? You know me…
Peter might have read the words here, first: I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy (Lev 11:44a).
- “I am the LORD your God.” He is the LORD (Yahweh). Yahweh is The Great I AM, the One Who was, and is, and is to come (Rev 1:8). One with Christ, He is before all and above all. He created all things and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:15-17). He was not created He is. This pretty much confirms His awesomeness! As the Creator, He has authority over all.
- “Consecrate yourselves.” To be consecrated is to be set aside, dedicated, prepared for…this is what it is to be holy. We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10). Now that Jesus has made us holy, we are set aside for His purposes. Setting ourselves aside means we give Him priority. We must choose Him, over us, in the small and big ways.
- “Be holy, for I am holy.” Paul tells us this too. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph 5:1-2). As His children, we are to be God’s Heart, walking around, so everyone can see what He is like. This is holiness.
Holiness is not some lofty end. It is not an unachievable goal. Holiness is when our love for God creates the desire to imitate Him and please Him, daily. Holiness is OTJT (on the job training). Sometimes, Everyday Holiness might be three steps forward and two steps back…but, remember, that is still progress!
Everyday Holiness cannot be separated from Integrity. What we do determines who we are. As I wrote earlier this week, I am committed to Integrity this year. Won’t you join me? Tell me, where you would like to go with this topic? I’d like to examine some of our favorite Bible heroes, or villains, to see what their lives say about Integrity. I would also like to study the Bible’s practical instruction about living a life of Integrity, both privately and publicly.
I have some plans already, but I would like to hear from you: where do you want to go with the topic of Integrity?