â€œBut you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…â€ (1 Peter 2:9)
We studied holiness in former devotionals, but a reminder is in order. Holiness is a divine attribute that produces a separation from this world. When the Israelites were making the priestly garments, we learn of a crown they made:
â€œThen they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD.â€ (Exodus 39:30)
When we worship the Lord, we are called to do so in holiness:
â€œGive unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.â€ (Psalm 29:2)
As we journey through this Christian life we will come against all types of obstacles along the way. And too often we are always trying to find the path of least resistance. Well the Prophet Isaiah tells us that it is not a path but a highway:
â€œA highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray.â€ (Isaiah 35:8)
We must remember that holiness is not some extra supernatural effort we as Christians exert to stand blameless before the Lord. No, it is a supernatural work of God Himself through the Holy Spirit working in our hearts to produce holiness:
â€œNow may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.â€ (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
Hereâ€™s a tough lesson that you wonâ€™t hear the Joy Boys preaching from their NTFV (New Touchy-Feely Version) Bibles:
â€œIf you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.â€ (Hebrews 12:7-11)
American Christianity in many ways has become ineffective because we have forgotten holiness. We call out Godâ€™s name and yet do not act as Godâ€™s people. I am guilty of this in my own personal walk with Jesus. I do things unworthy of and unpleasing to the Lord and then ask Him to bless me. I must remember that I am a member of a holy nation (not America) and that I belong to God. Commenting on 1 Peter 2:9, Warren Wiersbe writes:
â€œWe are a holy nation. We have been set apart to belong exclusively to God. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), so we obey heavenâ€™s laws and seek to please heavenâ€™s Lord. Israel forgot that she was a holy nation and began to break down the walls of separation that made her special and distinct. God commanded them to put a â€˜difference between holy and unholy; and between unclean and cleanâ€™ (Lev. 10:10); but they ignored the differences and disobeyed God.â€
This is where we make most of our mistakes. We believe that as Christians we can think and act like those around us in business, in our communities, and in politics, and that God will bless it. We forget that through the blood of Jesus Christ God has made us â€œspecial and distinct.â€ We have been commanded to put a â€œdifferenceâ€ between us and the rest of the world. However, if we think and act like the world, then where is the distinction? How are we â€œsalt and lightâ€ if we accept the mold into which the world continually attempts to press us?
If I continue ignoring the differences and disobey God, should I honestly expect a godly outcome? Even a fool will not go astray if he walks the Highway of Holiness.
Would to God I would be such a fool.
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers