Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I (Moses) command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Moses had come from a 40 day meeting on the mountain with the God of all creation, the God of Israel, He remembered where he had come from and where he had just been. He had been saved from death by an Egyptian princess, pulled out of the water and raised as a prince in Egypt.
Moses was convinced that he was to deliver the children of Israel from the maltreatment of the Egyptian taskmasters. Consequently, he murdered an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite, upon realizing that he was in trouble, he ran to the dessert where he spent forty years herding sheep. God called him to go back and face Pharoah. He was to demand the release of the children of Israel.
Now he stood before the people he had led out of Egypt. The children of Israel despaired of ever seeing Moses again as the forty days went by. Since their hearts were not wholly turned to the Lord, they easily turned to idolatry and immorality. They gave all their gold jewelry to Aaron, the brother of Moses, to make a golden calf they could worship. This was the scene that greeted Moses as he came down from the meeting, holding in his arms the commandments of God for the people.
It is further recorded that judgment came and many people died that day. Scripture records the history of the children of Israel and history records that every generation has followed the same pattern Israel did of yielding to the enemy of God and being led astray, repenting and returning to God only to begin the cycle again in another generation.
We are all in bondage to the “adversary”, the “accuser of the brethren”, to the world’s way of doing and being, and to our own fleshly lusts and desires. There are no exceptions! It is recorded in the Bible that Israel was the pattern that we could look at, and from their example we can learn sin, righteousness and judgment. It is written in II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Please note that it is all scripture that will cause us to profit, both the Old and New Testaments.
Israel easily fell into sin because she had made no firm commitment to serve God. She was not “All In”. I titled this piece “Holy unto the Lord” because I believe, that God is asking us to take a fresh look at our lives. I believe Holy Spirit is looking for those whose hearts are wholly the Lords. Are you one of those whose heart is wholly His? Are you holy? Do you want revival and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh that the prophet Joel speaks of in Joel 2:28 or do you want to keep the status quo? Are you among those who want all things to continue as they were?
What is holiness? Some have said that it is being set apart for sacred use. The Strong’s Concordance of the Bible lists this word holiness as “apartness, sacredness, separateness, as well as set-apartness”. This begs the question then of set apart for what or set apart for whom? One who has made a decision to follow Christ is set apart by the Holy Spirit for service in the Kingdom of God on earth, this time of service is followed by promotion to a select group of people known as the Bride of Christ, a remnant of all the people who have lived on the earth who have chosen to be His, this remnant will be with Him for all eternity, but it all begins with a decision to be holy, to be set apart, to be a peculiar people through whom He may live His life on the earth.
Some would say that holiness is an individual decision and I would agree; others would add that it must be corporate and I agree with that also. How do we unpack this?
To my way of thinking, holiness is a process that begins with a decision. When I met my husband, I was attracted to him, there was something about him that drew my attention to him. When I met Jesus, there was something about Him that drew my attention to Him. In both cases, it did not stop with the attraction, the next step was time together. In both cases, I had to decide that I wanted to spend my time with the subject of my attraction. Once the decision was made to do so, commitment followed quite naturally.
I was 15 years of age when I met Jesus, but I did not give my heart to Him completely until I was 34 years of age. I have found that I must remember often where I was and where He has taken me, and I must renew my initial commitment to the Lord often, giving Him more of myself all the time; this is why I call it a decision and a process.
Is holiness legalism as in do not touch, do not taste, etc.? I don’t think so. I do believe that there are basic laws and rules of Kingdom of God living, and if we have made a commitment to live a set-apart, holy life, then we will be changed and changing in every area of life.
There are many who call themselves Christian whose life-style is worldly. Natural man likes to add religion to his life, because man was created with a desire to worship; adding Jesus to ones lifestyle while continuing with an unchanged heart is deception.
Recently, I have been in meetings where Holy Spirit has been calling my attention to holiness. Each individual must make a decision to give their whole life and everything in it to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of Yeshua, (Jesus [English]) the son of David. I am saying it this way because there has to be continuity, there has to be connectedness. The whole Bible is inspired by God and profitable…this is what Paul was telling Timothy. We cannot pick and choose what we will believe or what we will not believe. God says what He means and He means what He says. He is God!
I have often heard the word interpretation used by someone who does not want to deal with their pet sin or the sin of a family member, as in, “Oh that is just your interpretation of that scripture.” No, God means what He says. You either accept it or reject it; you don’t get to vote. Sin, righteousness and judgment…you sin when you reject God’s right way of doing and being and judgment will follow, either now or later. I Timothy 5:24 “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment, and some men they follow after.” Where there is sin there will be judgment.
What is sin? Strong’s Concordance of the Bible: “To miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong, to wander from the law of God, to violate God’s law, that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act, collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many.”
As a young believer being trained by a seasoned believer, I was taught to give my whole self to God. I was taught that what I thought, what I did mattered, had repercussions for me. I was taught that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit were given to me so that I might grow up to be a mature Christian taking my place in the Kingdom of God.
There was a picture thought given to me when I was being trained, it was this: A funnel is very wide at the top but as a liquid would flow down to the bottom it got very narrow and when it reached the bottom it went out very quickly. The explanation I was given was that a young believer is given a lot of room to make mistakes, to do things that a mature believer would not be allowed to do without judgment coming swiftly. My mentor told me that when I became a mature believer, more would be required of me and my walk with the Lord would reflect that, and so it has. I am in a much narrower place now, more is required of me. The fact of being set apart, the fact of being “All In”, the fact that I am responsible for a certain metron (sphere of authority) is ever with me. I am more and more conscious of what is required of me and I must be swift to obey.
Holy, set apart, being purified and made ready to be the consort of The King, the aggregate body of the Lord will grow in holiness, in light and in beauty until the day when she will be presented to The King as His perfect, spotless bride.
Leviticus 26:7 “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the LORD your God.”
I Peter 1:15-16 But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy (sacred, holy, Holy One, saint, set apart) in all manner of conversation; (manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment) because it is written, Be ye holy (most holy thing, a saint); for I am holy.
I am praying that you will make every effort to yield to the Holy Spirit as He leads you to examine your own life and in that process allow Him to fine tune your vessel so that you may be part of that beautiful bride being made ready to meet her bridegroom.
Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
I Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Grace and Peace to you in Jesus name!