Be Ye Holy

"You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy."
Leviticus 19:2 (NLT)
"But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, 'You must be holy because I am holy."
I Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)

When I was a young school girl we all knew when Ash Wednesday had arrived. All of our friends who claimed the Roman Catholic faith arose earlier than usual to attend mass before school and receive a mark on their foreheads, a smear of dark ash in the shape of a cross.

The appearance of this mark prompted all of us to ask, "What are you giving up for Lent?" I'm not sure my Protestant mind grasped the meaning of "giving up something for Lent." What we saw in our friends was the inevitable choice to stop doing something that looked significant but was, in fact, easy to do. "I'm giving up chocolate," said my friend who rarely indulged in that treat. "I'm giving up bubble gum," said my friend who wore braces on her teeth. What looked like serious self-denial was negated by the lack of interest in the indulgence given up.

Prominent in my time of devotions and Bible study this week has been this message, "Be ye holy for I am Holy." God is the standard of holiness. Jesus is the Father's holiness with "skin on." The Holy Spirit is my "Holiness Helper," the One who teaches me what holiness is, gives me the desire to be holy and makes me able to be transformed into a holy vessel, equipped to glorify God, fulfilling His plan to create me in His image.

The LORD has articulated a challenge to my heart, especially as the Easter season nears. Remembering that my loving Father does not place upon me a burden too heavy to bear, I understand that I need to ask Him to help me examine my daily life and identify what I embrace that isn't holy. An attitude? A thought? An action?

The beauty in this process of working with the Holy Spirit is that He identifies a special area where He is already working in me to give me the power to give up...let go of...unholiness in favor of holiness. It is His work and my choice. If I love Him my response is to obey..."Be ye holy for I am holy."

Abba Father, I yearn to obey and be holy as You are holy. Each morning I ask You to guide me in holiness throughout the day. Convict me quickly when I act to please myself instead of You, that I may repent and walk in ever closer fellowship with You.

How about you? Will you join me in this daily challenge to holiness?

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
"The LORD will work out His plans for my life--for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever." Psalm 138:8a (NLT)
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

by Marilyn Allison