“Take time to be holy.” That’s how the old hymn by William Longstaff starts. To me this sounds like a somewhat dated expression and a confusing statement. Take time to be holy. What does that say about me the remaining time? Am I unholy? (That was rhetorical) I know that God says since I am “in Christ” I am holy and loved in His sight. Why argue with that? This is a postulate of “positional” truth for which I am most grateful.
Positional truth assures me I am who God says I am. Experiential “truth” works to influence me that my identity is more in line with being a“sinner,” guilty, under condemnation, not approved, unquestionably “unrighteous.” This righteousness or holiness I speak of is not a borrowed attribute. God clearly credits righteousness to our account in 2 Cor. 5:21 saying “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him (trusting in Jesus) we would become the righteousness of God.”
Positional truth calls us to live by faith as a new creation being transformed daily by cooperating with the work of the internal Holy Spirit.Experiential “truth” has us living by our sight, our senses and with an unstable understanding of how complete and acceptable we are in relationship with God. I’m not saying we are perfect, complete, or without the potential for sin. That ultimate “finish line” is miles ahead. We are simply in process, yielded to the degree we allow ourselves to be to the transforming work of God who desires our life on earth to greatly resemble His Son, our Rescuer and Redeemer.
Take a stab at this. No-one is watching. What exactly does it mean to be holy . . . . to be godly?
Certainly it can’t be how I look or what you may see me do. Actions don’t always reveal motivations, do they? Here’s a hint from 1 Samuel 16:7 . . .“for the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Holiness, godliness is something below the surface of a life, deep down in the realm of attitude . . . attitude towards God Himself.
As I think hard on this quality, I believe holiness, godliness, is intended to be an essence, not simply a characteristic. It is reflected in people whose hearts are sensitive to God, people who truly take God seriously and who hunger and thirst after Him as in Psalm 42:1-2. There is evidence of this essence in much of who they are and what they do and in how they approach their relationship with God. They don’t turn a blind eye to the difficult matters God calls us to contend with. They don’t compartmentalize their faith and stick the hard-to-obey or uncomfortable commands and principles in a place for “later” or “cherry pick” their way through scriptural commands or precepts. They don’t abuse grace. They aren’t “perfect.”
Holiness in a person is demonstrated in lives reflecting an attitude of willing submission to God’s wills and ways, living as though God’s word is true and good even when they do not feel it is good or true. They lead “thirsty” lives, desiring God and the best He has for them. So, how about you and where you are in your walk today? Are you thirsty? Are you motivated to be submitted to the Lordship of God, even though you’re still not perfect at it? Are you acquainted with God through His word and Spirit so that you know His character and are aware of the life He calls you to with all of His encouragements and cautions? The godly take God seriously. “Be Holy because I the Lord am holy. I who make you holy” He calls all of us to holy living. Think About It.