by Hope Reeder
Morning truly has broken over the last days! We are living in the end times and holiness will be reckoned with! Both God and Moses knew un-holiness would stop the blessing of the Lord. Today Moses is not around. Today, many boast of the size of their ministry calendar, their passionless worship team, the many pools of busy-ness one can dive into, the gifted pastor, the bargaining evangelist or the overused mind tool of the prophet, or the charisma of their ministry, yet without mention of holy.
Completely barren of, holiness, worship is attempted without the fire of God and man's reasoning replaces the Holy Spirit in life changing decisions that are being made. Today many empty shell congregations and ministries claim the many promises of the Bible yet those promise are for a 'holy' people. To assume that everyone in the congregation as a unit, everyone in your ministry, as a unit, or all the followers, empowered by being a unit, sanctions the label 'holy' would be a fatal error. Many attempts to build a huge prosperous ministry, to follow or be followed are being made but without mention of holy. These days most churches are barren of holiness and without this base, messages from the pulpit on 'love' sound like seduction. Who wants it? Something is missing!
Holiness is Not an Option
Yes, I think He meant it when He said, 'narrow is the way and few there be that find it. Mathew 7:14 God purposed to have a holy people. 'PURSUE HOLINESS for...without holiness, no one will ever see the Lord' Hebrews 12:14. Is it not time for us to realize that if we want to see the Lord, holiness is not an option? How have you looked at 'holiness?' There is a line being drawn. Ezekiel 43:20 Do you see the line separating the holy (Holy of Holies) and the common (outer court)? Where do we stand? Holiness or hypocrisy: this is the choice! ...or is it?
Holiness is costly but it is an absolute with God. For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy: for I am holy. Leviticus 11:44 (NKJV) Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2, 20:7, 20:26. And a highway shall be there and a way; and it shall be called the Holy Way. Isaiah 35:8 But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy. I Peter 1:15 God wants His children to be just like their Daddy, holy.
Who's Your Daddy?
God is Holy! Holy...is God! Holy = God. Holiness is God's divine nature! Holiness is who God is! How can we claim to be like our Daddy, know Him or the richest measure of His divine presence, without knowing the Spirit of Holiness? God owns His Holiness. His whole being is Holy. God's sons and daughters must be holy. God's Holiness DNA must be the life's blood that flow through our very being, our mind, our thoughts, our body and soul, our actions and our priorities.
Do you 'know' your Daddy? If so, then you will recognize God disciplines us, even as our earthly fathers thought best, but God disciplines us for our good (why?) so that we may share (partake) in or be partakers of his holiness. Hebrews 12:10 ...if you will indeed obey My Voice and keep My Covenant...you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Exodus 19:5,6 True holiness is true obedience of His Word, His Voice. I think as He thinks, love as He loves, I do as He does, live as He lives.
Wait a Minute!
Upon examining the life of the Pharisee, today one would evaluate them quit high on a scale of one to ten. The educated and theologically correct Pharisees gave themselves to fasting, praying and ceremonial purity. They believed in angels, in healing and in casting out demons. They always observed the sabbath, observed the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. They loved the family, condemned adultery and fornication. They ritually taught their children to read and memorize the scripture. They memorized and could quote the first five books of the Bible! They knew the teachings of the prophets. But wait! There's more! They danced before the Lord. They contributed to the needs of the community. They tithed down to the last coin. They meticulously practiced the Law and were constantly in Jesus' presence.
In the congregations of today, just a handful of these guys would be hailed as gifted talented leaders. Who wouldn't want them? They would be ushered to the platform to speak, preach, teach, prophecy, testify, and be royally honored. They would be featured in our modern day high-tech Sunday morning flash video shots, ordained as elder and deacons.
But wait! ..................all so religiously polished yet Jesus called the Pharisee hypocrites and John the Baptist called them 'Brood of Vipers.' Wait a minute! But isn't this life-style what ours is suppose to look like? Jesus said that except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of the heavens. Matthew 5:20 Holiness is not based or promised on Pharisaical moral and duty. So what did Jesus mean? What are we missing here?
The Lost Element
Always present yet always in dispute, or debate, doubting, judging, and forever challenging Jesus and quoting scriptures. For all their understanding of scriptures they failed in one area! They failed to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. In the Pharisee's heart, at the very core was the one missing element; Relationship! They were 'close' but they had no true relationship!
Do you know the President of your country? 'Sure I know him!' you say. But do you 'know' him? 'Well, not really, I know 'of him' but I am not in relationship with him.'
The same could be true with a God relationship. We are sometimes so close to God yet we do not even know Him, His Spirit, or His ways! Somehow could we have become an empty shell of pretenders performing ritual duties without a relationship with a Holy God? Multitudes are unaware of the absence of Holiness. Spiritual genealogy yields no outlaws though. It is true. Holiness is an extension of what is known as Holy. Holiness is the dividing line between Unbelievers and Believers characterized by their holiness or lack of it. If we know Him intimately (and His Holy nature) He lives in us and our holiness is based in an intimate relationship with His Holy Presence.
For By What Are We Distinguished?
We all love to quote Exodus 33:15 If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here! Everyone can agree! But what about the next verse? FOR BY WHAT shall it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight? Is it not in Your going with us so that we are distinguished from all the other people upon the face of the earth? Moses had an an intimate relationship with God. He 'knew' God's Voice by experience which is far better than mere knowledge. He would do anything to meet Him in a tent! He could not stay away from His Presence! He knew Holiness which caused Moses himself to become holy because he 'hung out with' a Holy God.
Marked by The Beauty of Holiness
Holiness is recognizable as it resides in another. There is a beauty in holiness! When holiness looks upon holiness, a striking indescribable delight comes over you. Moses knew this. Holiness draws holiness to it's heart with such purity. It is cross-identifiable, mutually born from the understanding of the companionship of the holy, a passion running deep from the deposit of God's fellowship. Pure. Clean. Innocent. Beautiful. Timeless. A quality not understandable among the religious still playing their games, but a distinguishing, set apart aroma, a beautiful fragrance to God and to the people of Holiness.
An invisible mark engraved by gold and carved in the forehead, the eyes, the heart, the hands, the mouth, and the voice stating 'Holiness Unto the Lord.' A drawing like no other into fellowship. The fellowship of holiness is the fellowship of the true church. purity in love. Clean hands, pure heart (thoughts). Why? Because true holiness is based in holy addiction to the presence of a Holy Lord, a relationship with a Holy God, the Spirit of Holiness, the person of the Holy Spirit.
How Are We Made Holy?
We are sanctified, purified, consecrated, separated unto the Lord, dedicated and made holy by the Truth and Your Word is Truth. John 17:17-19 The secret of the sweet, satisfying companionship (relationship) of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them it's deep inner meaning. Psalm 25:14 It was the Spirit of Holiness that raised Christ Jesus from the dead (Romans 1:4) and it is this resurrection power that lives inside us. This mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations (from angels and men) but is now revealed to His "HOLY" people ...which is Christ within us, the hope of (realizing the) glory.
We are made holy by a true infilling of Christ's Spirit which is the Holy Spirit, and by His Word which is Truth. We are made holy in mind, body and soul as we spend time with a Holy God, our Daddy. The more we hang out with our Daddy, the more we will be like Him.
He Is Calling You Now, Come ...
Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness we will not see the Lord. We can see the Lord in our visions, dreams, in others the more we are in God's Presence. Clean hands, pure heart! How refreshing it is to be washed again in innocence. How pure. Holy. God is Holy and we must be holy too. Let Him wash over you now. Let Him be seen as you rest even now in His Presence. Let Him love you now. He is drawing you higher, closer and nearer to Him, to see Him. As John tells us in his writings of Revelation 4: ... I looked and behold, a door standing open i heaven! And the first voice which I had heard addressing me like the 'calling' of a war trumpet said, COME UP HERE, and I will show you what must take place in the future. At once I came under the HOLY SPIRIT'S POWER and (SAW) behold, a throne stood in heaven with ONE seated on the throne!...
(read on and SEE the Lord - Revelations 4:) You who have heard the Word (Truth), believe in , adhere to and rely on Him are stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. That Spirit (Holy) is the guarantee of our inheritance (the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage)... Ephesians 1: 13, 14 read on...
You shall receive (this Holy Spirit promise) power, efficiency, and might, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you... Receive the Holy Spirit now ... (Acts 1:8, 2:all) He chose YOU out (actually picked you out for Himself as His own) before the foundation of the world, that you should be holy, consecrated and set apart for Him (Ephesians 1:4) because YOU have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12). You are HIS. You are made holy by Truth and Truth is God's Word. Encounter His Holiness now...
Praise Alive Ministries International