My readings are deep into Leviticus now; chapter after chapter of rules and regulations with one purpose: to enable the Israelites to fulfill God’s command
You must be holy, for I, the Eternal One, am holy, and I have chosen you from all the people of the world to be My people.
From Creation to now the cry of God’s heart is for us to be holy so that we can walk with Him, talk with Him and be the people He created us to be. We know the law proved beyond doubt that we can’t do it. Now, instead of by our own efforts, we come by the righteousness of Jesus and through Him can enjoy the benefits of that relationship with God.
In some ways, it is completely one-sided as the work has all been done by God. But in another way it is our acceptance and willingness to participate in what He is doing that makes it possible. The moment of salvation when we accept and admit that we are sinners, in need of a Saviour, is the start of a journey that should consume the rest of our lives.
3 O my God, shine Your light and truth
to help me see clearly,
To lead me to Your holy mountain,
to Your home.
4 Then I will go to God’s altar with nothing to hide.
I will go to God, my rapture;
I will sing praises to You and play my strings,
unloading my cares, unleashing my joys, to You, God, my God.
His light and truth are our guides and our measure. We look to them like the Israelites looked at the pillar of fire and cloud to lead us. We are illuminated and measured by them to see our unchanging need of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Sinful though we still are, because of that Light and Truth we are able come and worship a Holy God fearlessly.
Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured on the mountain top. They were overwhelmed by His glory revealed as intense brightness. Peter was reduced to babbling as no doubt we would have been. But now, because of Jesus death and resurrection, we can worship Him knowing who He is, knowing His holiness and knowing that His desire is to transform our lives to be holy like Him. We don’t have to be afraid, we don’t have to scramble to find something to do for Him, we don’t have to worry about being rejected because we have been made worthy.
It has always been God’s desire to live alongside a holy people who love and worship Him, who know Him and seek to be like Him. Because of Jesus we are that people. Part of our duty is to display God’s holiness to those around us. If we blend into the world in words and actions then we are not being true to who God wants us to be.
Holiness is something we pursue as we let the Holy Spirit teach us to be like Jesus. It’s an unfashionable word these days as I wrote a few weeks ago. But God repeats His command often; over and over calling the Israelites and now us to holiness. If it is important to Him, it should be important to us.