I’ve been thinking about the song by Sonic Flood called, “Holiness.” Lately I’ve been coming into contact with people – well-meaning people – who are a little off track. They want to do this or that good thing, but they have hidden reasons for their actions. Private agendas. A personal benefit of some sort for the good that they are doing. I confess, I’ve even seen the tendency in myself. I think it’s easy to rationalize the goodness of the act, but in doing so, we’re really lying to ourselves.
The song has been playing in my head over and over as I am praying this evening. It says, ” Holiness is what I long for; holiness is what I need. Holiness is what You want for me.” I always change the word “want” for the word “ask.” I think holiness is a choice
that we make – with every choice that we make! Rationalizing our choices because they’re no big deal or that they don’t really matter in the big picture is wrong because our practice of poor choosing DOES hurt the big picture. If we don’t choose holiness in the small things, what makes us think we will choose it when the matter is really important, or the stakes are really high? What makes us think we’ll choose the high road when the pressure is on to short cut?
As I’m writing, I’m noticing my living room. In a homeschooling family, the living room is TRULY LIVED IN! I notice the scratches on the wall where the loveseat used to sit hiding them. Really need to paint this room. And there is dust up high where I took down a swag that had been up there since we moved in. Surely I can find something long enough to get that down. And my sweet twins vacuumed for me today. Yep, there’s a piece of popcorn under the treadmill, and another crumb at my feet. A couple of pieces of paper are under a little table they didn’t move and something black, but it’s not moving, thank goodness, is in front of the tv.
My Lord could certainly do that with my life, as well; “yes, you’ve hit the high points, but then there’s this. And this is really not up to my standards. While you’re at it, you might try doing this a little better.” Thank Him that He doesn’t, though! The holiness He wants me to have – to do – is FOR MY BENEFIT. Just like I want my kids to make and learn from their mistakes now, while they’re young, when the mistakes aren’t as crucial. He wants me to develop holiness because of what it will do for me.
The bottom line is, He already sees me as holy because of Christ’s blood.
That doesn’t get me off the hook, though. His Word says, “Be holy, as I am holy.” It’s not a matter of my salvation – that’s already bought and paid for. Holiness is an element adding to the joy that I can ENjoy living in this terribly unholy place until I can experience the fulness of the joy of being with Him. Every decision I make to honor God in my daily life develops this holiness and all the fruits that go with it – patience to wait for His timing instead of pushing through on my own, peace that He’s got everything under control in the midst of the daily grinds, confidence and satisfaction from knowing I obeyed Him, the gentleness and humility of practice to submit to Him, not to mention the joy that wraps it all up. Just like daily workouts can benefit our muscles and stress levels, daily submission to His will builds up the benefits listed and will ultimately create in us an attitude of holiness.