Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Be holy for I am holy

God's calling to "be holy for I am holy" sounds impossible and over-the-top. We may think, "how can I ever be as good, righteous and holy as God!?" 

But this is a misunderstanding of holiness. Note the verse does not say do holy as I do holy. It is addressing our state of being; who we are, not what we do. This is not a focus on rightness of conduct i.e. "living right," though it certainly includes right behavior. 

This involves singleness of focus (devotion) i.e. It is to value God above all things, having our hearts wholly devoted to him (in the same way he is to himself). It's having the affections of our hearts captured by him and by nothing else.  Our devotion to him is distinct or separate and greater then any other devotion.  

You may even argue a fair translation would be, "be wholly devoted to me and my glory as I am wholly devoted to it." 

Or as Christ said, if our eye is healthy (not blurry but clear and focused) than we are full of light. 

How and when does this occur?

It occurs only when we see the true value/glory of God. The more clearly we see him in all his beauty and glory, the greater our affections are for him, the more we are drawn to him and the harder we pursue him.

So our focus is not on right behavior/conduct, it's about right seeing and right valuing; seeing God clearly and truly as he is...as all loving, wise, good and glorious. We will never do so if and when our gaze/affection is set on anything other than him i.e. We will never be holy as he is holy.


Holiness is not being perfect in conduct but being perfected in devotion which is the fruit of an increasingly clearer view of his great glory/worth. As our view of God in all his love and glory becomes clearer our value of God grows, our devotion and faithfulness to him grows; our behavior becomes more righteous and increasingly reflects the greatness of his worth. 

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is (that which you value/treasure most and have the greatest affection for), there your heart (longings/desires) will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye (focus) is healthy (clear and on the right thing i.e. that which has true and lasting value), your whole body (everything else about you; your actions, conduct etc) will be full of light, 23 but if your eye (focus) is bad (on the wrong thing), your whole body (your conduct) will be full of darkness. If then the light (your focus) in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 

This verse clearly indicates that the body by which our actions are carried out, moves as the result of our focus (eyes) being set on either the right or wrong thing. Actions are always the result or fruit of our focus. Our focus is always on what we believe is most valuable. And what we value is where our affections and longings lie. 

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Grace to you
Jim Deal