1Peter 1:14 (NIV) As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…
“God’s working and my working need not be in competition but harmony. I work because he works… It is God’s fight and yet it is my fight. And the more it is his, the more truly it is mine.” [John White, The Fight, 192]
We have been set free as God’s children to decide how we will receive/live in God’s holiness. While we lived without holiness before Christ and were inundated with only desires outside of God, we can now choose in Christ what we’re impacted by. We can get drunk and indulge unnecessarily in wrong things, or we can be filled with the Spirit. Instead of conforming to unholy desires or waiting for God to disrupt/interrupt wrong ways in our lives, we can actively seek to be filled with the Spirit – to have his empowering and holiness fill our hearts.
Prayer: God, help me to turn from the temptation to do things my way and instead fill my heart with conviction to listen and obey your leading. Grant me a holy obsession to work and fight with you more and more. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy Overshadowing” (click here) by Graham Kendrick.
1Peter 1:15-16 (NIV) But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
“Skip it if you’re not interested. But holiness is not optional for the Christian. It is not an elective. It is your major… You began to be sanctified when you placed your faith in Christ. At that very time God set you apart for his special use. He also began a process in you designed to fit you for that use and to impart holiness to you. It may be that the process, because of your unfaithfulness or your misunderstanding, has ground to a halt. If so, there is no delay at God’s end. The Holy Spirit is ready to get on with his part.” [John White, The Fight, 181, 189]
We are holy because of Christ and because we have the Holy Spirit. Now we work at our major – wholly holy. The difficulty we can often have with being holy is when we measure ourselves by what we’re producing or not doing, rather than out of God’s holiness. It’s up to us to continually agree with the Holy Spirit’s process designed to make us fit to be used by God and to impart holiness.
Prayer: God, help me to surrender to your process of transformation. Help me to be holy out of your holiness by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Hymn of Surrender” (click here) by Matt Redman.
Isaiah 6:8 (NIV) Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
“Now, for the first time, God speaks. It is as if Isaiah was not ready to hear before this moment, as if the possibility of service could not be appreciated until this time… Having believed with certainty that he was about to be crushed into non-existence by the very holiness of God and having received an unsought for, and unmerited, complete cleansing, what else would he rather do than hurl himself into God’s service? Those who need to be coerced are perhaps too little aware of the immensity of God’s grace toward them.” [John Oswalt, NICOT: Isaiah, 185-186]
This magnificent obsession is a holy obsession. God’s holiness reveals the truth of who he is and who we are, but it doesn’t just leave us where we’re at. Instead of remaining in despair and being crushed because of our unholiness, we can arise in Christ through his glorious work on the cross and resurrection power. It’s the experience of God’s immense grace that gives us longing to follow him and to live in his holiness.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your immense grace. Help me to come into your presence and open my heart to wholly worship you. Grant me a holy obsession that follows your every leading. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Isaiah 6:5 (NIV) “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
“His profession of faith has been orthodox but empty, with little heart-awareness of the grandeur of God… The most telling indicator that God’s grace is renewing us is not when we say all the right things about his grace but when we stop putting ourselves above others, and even above God.” [Raymond Ortlund, Jr, Isaiah, 79]
Isaiah was undone when he encountered the Lord. God’s holiness had revealed the condition of his heart and of the people. Isaiah realized that dirty lips were just a small part of a bigger problem. It was in God’s holiness that he recognized how dirty he was all over – a spiritual sickness that was in his heart and a spiritual pandemic that plagued the people around him. Sometimes we don’t even realize our own condition. We can become so self-absorbed and acclimated to what’s around us that our hearts suffer from this same spiritual sickness. When we lift our eyes onto God and actually encounter his holiness, even for a moment or a glimpse, we become undone. This is a good thing because God’s holiness reveals what truly afflicts and hinders us. It’s at that point that we can be healed and purified by his grace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to fix my gaze on you and to be undone by your holiness. I am in utter need of your grace. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Isaiah 6:3 (NIV) And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
“’Holy, holy, holy’ is not just repetition; it is emphasis. It isn’t one + one + one; it’s perfection x perfection x perfection. The holiness of God distinguishes him absolutely… His holiness is simply his God-ness in all his attributes, works, and ways. And he is not just holy; he is ‘holy, holy, holy,’ each word boosting the force of the previous one exponentially.” [Raymond Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah, 77]
There’s an association between the Lord’s holiness and glory. God’s glory fills this whole earth and his holiness ensures such; or, his holiness is about his glory. As much as God’s holiness is this exponentially infinite perfection that illuminates any unholiness that separates us from him, God’s holiness also reveals his glory and purpose in the world. This glory is found in our Lord Jesus Christ who has removed that very separation by his holy sacrifice. Today, take time to repeatedly pray and declare Isaiah 6:3 above.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Holy One. The whole earth is full of your glory. Open my eyes as I fix my gaze on you. I lay my thoughts and my heart before you and ask that your glory and purpose would be revealed. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy, Holy, Holy” (click here) by Audrey Assad.