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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wholly Holy...

I wrote this on my divorced dad's blog but I thought it bore repeating here...

Peter admonishes us in 1 Peter 1:15, "But in the way that He who has called you is holy, so you should be holy in every aspect of your life. Because it is written, "You be holy because I am holy".

Dad's...I wrestled with this verse for so many years. I thought it was a very legalistic command to live a pious, perfect life, free of even the remotest form of humanity, much less sin.
But I was reading my way through A.W. Tozer's wonderful little book, "The Knowledge of the Holy" which is a study on the attributes of God, and I finally--after many years--grasped what Peter was saying.
Tozer makes the case...appropriately so...that God is all of His attributes fully, and all at once. In other words He is not Holy sometimes and Omniscient others. Or Just sometimes but Sovereign others. He is all of the things He is, and He is all of them all at once. He chooses to show us one attribute over another sometimes but those attributes are still totally at work all at once.
It took a while but I finally understood what Peter was saying when he said; "But in the same way He who called you is Holy, you be Holy..."  God is Holy all at once and His Holiness winds it's way through every other attribute and aspect of His being.
And so the charge from Peter. We should be holy. Holy in everything we do. There shouldn't be any areas where we aren't seeking to exude the Holy imprint of God in our lives. It's difficult to imagine how we can really be Holy. But remember...Holiness is not something we possess. It comes from God and it renders us Holy by contact. Remember when Moses first met God, in the form of the burning bush? God told him to take off his shoes because the very dirt he was walking on was Holy. How was that true? Was it special dirt? No. It was dirt just like the rest of the mountain was...until God showed up. When the presence of God descended on the mountain and lit upon the bush, His holiness became the holiness of the entire mountain. That is how it happens with us.
As dad's, sometimes we can close off areas of our lives and only open them when our children are around us. We aren't trying to be deceitful or duplicitous, we just compartmentalize. But we can't do this. We need Holiness in every aspect of our lives, from our fatherhood, to our jobs, to our citizenship in our country, to our activity in our churches to our workplace and on and on. Holiness doesn't mean rigid simply means a purity that comes from God Himself. The fragrance of our faith in Christ should permeate every single aspect of our lives...even the things we barely pay attention to. Things like our attitude in traffic (a trouble spot for me) to our smile and gentleness in the check out line in the grocery store, to the way we handle our finances and our assets, to the respect we show our children's mom and on and on.
Holy living doesn't mean being perfect. It doesn't even mean trying to be perfect. It means living out of a center of focus on Jesus Christ and His person and the Holiness of His Father God, through the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit.
That last phrase is really a key. Think of the third person of the Trinity...say that name thoughtfully. "The Holy Spirit". Literally it is "The Spirit (or power, or attitude) of God's Holiness" If I am filled up inside with the very attitude of Holiness of God Himself, then it simply must permeate my whole life.
Dad's...and all believers...are you Holy in all areas of living. Do we do everything we do in a way that points to Jesus Christ? It's hard. But I am trying.
Dad's, make a short list of a few area's where you could really use to surrender your way of living to more Holiness.
Here are mine:
     *Prayer life. I know prayer is vital and I pray each morning and evening but I could use more time and effort here. More serious pursuit of God in prayer...especially more sitting quietly and listening for His voice. This is an integral part of prayer as much as asking for things is. I need to model this in front of my daughter so it's a habit she develops too.
     *Kindness. I am stressed so often and it makes my fuse quite short. A life infused with the Holy Spirit will show more kindness and patience. I need to work on this more and let my daughter see her dad as a kind, and Christ-like man.
     *Faith. I need the Holiness of God to be the core of a large life of faith. I want my daughter to see a dad who believes big, asks big and trusts a big God for big answers.

Let's be determined to be holy, men. Let's let the Holy Spirit enter into every area of our hearts...even the loneliness, pain, and emptiness of post-divorced life. Because that is how He will make something wonderful come from it all.

Let's be wholly Holy.

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