Holiness. It is the journey of knowing God more and more, because as we encounter Him in His Word and in His World, we cannot help but be changed. “Knowing” God means being in a scandalously intimate relationship with Him so in love with Him that we cease to care what other people think about us, that we cannot get Him out of our minds, that we want to show our devotion to Him in every way possible.
To KNOW Him is to love Him…and be loved by Him.
But I used to have trouble believing that His promises were for ME. I was such a failure at being good. Whether people knew it or not, my heart was full of anger and grief and regret. In my heart, I lived like an lonely and abandoned child. When I read this, I didn’t grasp it:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
I doubted His devotion to ME…when I thought well, that might be true for someone else…but surely not for me? This showed that I just didn’t KNOW Him well enough.
Do you struggle with feelings of inadequacy? Do you know that inadequacy points a finger at us…but also at the Lord? Living in low self-esteem says, I am not “good enough” but what it really means is “the Sacrifice was not enough to rescue and redeem someone like me. I am THAT special; I am the exception to the Gospel.”
There was a time when I didn’t know this: living with doubt as a constant companion means that deep down, I doubt the goodness of God and that means I doubt the Truth of His Word.
Living like an emotional pauper makes it hard to to give anything to anyone else. This verse was very convicting. I just didn’t see how God could ever grow ME enough to be the patient, loving, kind person I knew that I was supposed to be. But here is His Way:
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother (1 John 4:19-21).
Loving others is a sticky point, isn’t it? Sometimes, some people, are hard. to. love.. But we can’t look at the other person and wait for our love to grow! We have to look at God instead. Because, it is HIS love that fills up those empty places in us, those gaping holes. He gives us a love that is pressed down, shaken together and running over. And there is enough of that love to go around:
- In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
- See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1):
- I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor 6:18).
- The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing (Zeph 3:17).
- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:37-39).
I am humbled by this Truth: God KNOWS me and He still loves me.
I am rescued from myself. I redeemed from the pit. I am given new mercies every morning. I am clean in His eyes, washed as white as snow by the blood of Jesus. God longs for me, pursues me, cares for me, protects me, plans for me, provides for me and so much more. I have a Great Purpose in this life and the next ~ a relationship with God that grows me, so that I can participate in His Work, which is loving others.
Feeling a sense of wholeness, well-being, and security is based on experiencing a relationship with God, this is knowledge of the Holy One. New life and new ways are possible because, when you have been adopted into a family, and you will never be alone again, you can afford to love others in the same way.
Being known and loved by God, changes us…this is what makes us holy.
The work of the Holy Spirit in us romances us in such a way that we are able live life with, and for, God this is Everyday Holiness. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26).