Multiple times in Leviticus God commands us to be holy. “Be holy, for I am holy” is repeated over and over. Why does God repeat Himself? To get our attention maybe?
Then in the New Testament Peter said in 1 Peter 1:16, “because it is written, “”Be holy, for I am holy.”” God didn’t change His mind and let us off the hook between the Old and New Testaments.
The writer of Hebrews bumps it up a notch.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.
Holiness is important to God. Is it important to us? When Israel lived holy lives, they had blessed lives. They saw the hand of God deliver them and protect them from Egypt. They saw God do signs and wonders. His power was manifested in their lives. But when they complained and grumbled they died in the wilderness. They missed out on the Promise Land. When God was ready to work with Joshua and Caleb, those who trusted in Him, every enemy was delivered into their hands. They were an unstoppable force and obeyed God by driving out all of the pagans, refusing to mix with their cultures and gods. They chose holiness.
Then Joshua and Caleb died and an interesting, but sad turn of events occurred.
“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10.
We are only ever one generation away from forgetting God if the current generation of Believers don’t make it their foremost priority to teach their children about Him. I’m so thankful for a wife that has made this her calling. Above work, above career, above all else, her mission is teaching her children the Truth. And if our children bring friends home, she’ll work on them, too. If we don’t do this, then we run the risk of this happening:
“The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.” Judges 2:11-12.
They angered God and He turned them over to their enemies. They became slaves again. Sad.
God still calls us to holy lives. Are we mixing with the unholy? Do we refuse to drive out the unholy or do we entertain it? Do we rationalize with by God by saying we don’t want to become self-righteous, holier than thou Christians who can’t relate to and therefore witness to the world? Are we actually witnessing to the world or do we look so much like it that the world could never recognize Jesus in us? I don’t need to make a list. We all have different ways that we dishonor God with our unholy pursuits and activities; things that we allow to enter our souls through our eyes, ears, mouths, arms and feet. I have mine. You have yours.
““You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13.
That’s what Jesus said.
If we want Holy Spirit power in our lives I believe we get that when we forsake the gods of this world, set ourselves apart to the One True God and pursue holiness. As Christians, the Holy Spirit resides in us. We are His home. But if my house is a mess, literally and figuratively, I’ll do my best to stay away as much as possible. Yes, it’s still my home, but not where I want to be.
Can the Holy Spirit say the same about us?
“...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.
This was one of the last things Joshua said. What do we say?