“The Lord Our God Is Holy”
By Lois J. Stucky (1928 – 2014)
In Psalm 99 we are exhorted to ever remember the holiness of our greatly exalted God: “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble...The Lord is great...and He is high above all the people. Let them praise Thy great and terrible [awesome] name; for it is holy…. Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy” (vv. 1-3, 9).
In First Peter 1:15-16 it is written: “…As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy...because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” The Apostle Paul similarly exhorts God’s people: “…Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
The Apostle Paul reminds us that each one who is born-again is a temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and “the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:17). “...This is the will of God, even your sanctification…. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thes. 4:3, 7). The Apostle Paul also instructs us that Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church…that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
O reader friends, in the glorious light of the holiness of God (at least as much as we can perceive now), and in consideration of His costly provision through the blood of Jesus, and through His Word and through the work of the Holy Spirit in us that we might be cleansed of sin and be made holy – are not our hearts stirred to praise and thanksgiving for His great mercy, grace and love, and for His longsuffering toward us and His forgiveness when we repent? It may be we feel a need to examine our lives in a serious way and pour out our hearts before Him to be restored to a place of greater watchfulness and carefulness to live a holy life in body, soul and spirit. God sees the countless opportunities daily before us to choose our own way or God’s best. With such a casualness and laxness toward spiritual matters in the world around us, it is easy for us to “leak out” perhaps beginning with just little exceptions and small compromises but the crack tends to widen unless earnest effort is made to conform to God’s standards of holiness.
We must go to the Word of God daily to learn God’s holy standards and we must take instruction from it for ourselves. Pray with Jesus in loving surrender, “…not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36). Lay hold of what the Apostle Paul expounds: “...Our old man is crucified with [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom. 6:6); “...yield yourselves unto God…and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (v. 13); “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world...” (Rom. 12:1-2). We must also purge our lives of the ungodly things and be vessels “unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).
Do we want to be counted as “holy and without blemish” when the heavenly Bridegroom comes? What is impossible in the natural is possible with God! It requires of us a watchful determination, being filled with the Holy Spirit and a God-enabled persevering to the end. And it requires the seeking of His purpose in any chastening that comes our way, knowing that God chastens “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:7-11).