Each morning, after waking from the sleepy fog and forcing my mind away from the phone, I zero in on two desires for the day—to be closer to God and to glorify Him in it.
As noble as these thoughts are, the swarm of homemaking tasks, mothering challenges, and work responsibilities swiftly carry them away. If I’m not prayerful, the day spirals into a pit of stress, grumbling and frustration.
My ordinary, seemingly mundane to-do list seems far from doing mighty things for the Kingdom, and I lose heart.
Yet the book of Leviticus—yes, Leviticus—recently rocked my world.
Here’s a snippet:
“For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45
In its many pages of commands, its detail by detail instructions, its directions to avoid this and avoid that, to bring this sacrifice and that offering, to cleanse oneself to meet with the Lord, there is one sole purpose—to set the people of Israel apart from all the nations around them, to declare to the people that a relationship with God touches every single aspect of life.
With God, the mundane becomes meaningful, as outward obedience reveals our faith-filled heart within.
When we’re faithful with the little, we reflect the flawless life of our Savior, who obeyed God to the smallest task and briefest thought.
This brings us to one foundational fact, one that should never leave my radar or yours: God is holy, and thus we should be holy. To be holy is to be set apart from the world.
No matter what position we hold, what duties fill our days, in everything we can mirror the character of God.
That, my sister, is a means to an end! It is one of the purest ways you and I can draw closer to our Lord and exalt Him everyday.
When we seek holiness, we seek Him, and it has the beautiful side effect of sharing His love, grace, compassion, and truth with those around us.To be like Christ can be the sole motivation for our obedience and our day. Click To Tweet
Pursuing Holiness By Grace
The Apostle Peter wrote:
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
Usually when I hear that statement about holiness, and maybe its the case for you, I immediately feel convicted. It’s as if all my wrongs and incapacities pile up in my mind, and I think: I wish.
The thing is, with Jesus, it doesn’t have to be a wish. When read in faith, what this statement can do is wonderful—it instills a proper fear of the Lord, an attitude of awe and devotion…and a realization that the Spirit is in us for this very command, to make us holy. We are not fending for ourselves in this effort, but growing day by day in grace!
We open ourselves to the Spirit when we surrender pride and our way of thinking, and replace it with adoration for Christ and His Word. Too often we lean on our understanding of events, listening to Satan’s lies, instead of rejoicing in the truth of the Gospel and letting it spur us to obedience.
Even in Leviticus, holiness isn’t a legalistic checklist, it’s a way for Israel to show their love for God, to treasure and respect His presence, to outwardly affirm an inward loyalty to His cause and His Name.We seek holiness and reject worldliness to powerfully display who we belong to, and who is our greatest love - Jesus. Click To Tweet
So with this challenge to be as He is, we have to remember two truths:
-Our holiness is a process of sanctification, not salvation. We don’t do good works to earn our way to heaven. We must always rest in Christ, whose life was the epitome of holiness and who graciously and mercifully paved our path to eternity.
We do good because we want to worship – not to somehow survive in a brutal system of gaining reward and avoiding judgment.
-Obedience is the pathway to joy. This is one thing I’m seeking to teach my daughter, and am still learning myself.
While we shouldn’t strive to hit all the moral checkboxes to win favor from God, when we obey we experience the freedom we have in Christ, the favor we received through His sacrifice!
Before we were slaves to sin, but now, because Christ saved us, we are free to live for God, to live as He lovingly designed back in the Garden as His image-bearers! (Genesis 1:27)
Obeying Him, pursuing holiness, gives us a peace and satisfaction in God that relieves our souls of the strife caused by sin.
So every time I chose a gentle voice over an angry one, I chose to sing praise instead of pour out complaints, I kiss and dance with my daughter instead of see her as difficult, I wash the dishes instead of neglecting my home…I feel that the Lord is near, I feel joy, I feel holy—set apart as His beloved daughter in Christ.
In His Love,