Holiness

I speak to you, but also to myself.

“Holiness adorns Your house.” Psalm 93:5

We lay down at night, all the lights have been turned off, but as we slip towards sleep we catch one last light from the corner of our eye, still left on. We break from looming slumber and warm sheets because it must be turned off.

We drive down the road, a six-hour road trip, and a slight noise catches and holds my attention from start to finish. Something unusual, out of place, perhaps troubling. Conversation may go elsewhere, but I’m still listening. I must find the source.

A new dish served, delicious, but there’s something else in there. A flavor I barely recognize. I take bite after bite, trying to analyze and discover. What is it? I must know.

We turn on the movie and 23 minutes in a new character is introduced. Oh, who is that? They were in that other show. What was it? It’s right on the tip of my tongue. It’s going to bother me all night if I don’t look it up. I need to know.

It bothers me. I can’t rest until it’s been resolved. It’s an irritant that I can’t ignore. It must be set right and so I seek out the source. Where is it coming from? What is causing it? It must be remedied.

“Holiness adorns Your house.”

I read this verse and I had to say - does it? I know holiness adorns Your house, and I long for the day in which I get to dwell in that house - but in the meantime, does holiness adorn my house?

Holiness is pleasing, befitting, and becoming of Your house, as it’s translated in other versions. Am I pleased to adorn my house with holiness and do I see it as befitting and becoming?

The slightest impurity must be remedied.

The smallest imperfection must be resolved.

The tiniest irritant cannot be ignored.

I notice it right away. I can’t rest until it is resolved. I seek it out so I can set it right.

Does this describe the house I live in?

We know what it is to be bothered by lights left on, noises in our cars, unrecognized flavors, and actors we just can’t quite place - but what of holiness?

Our hearts are riled, our attention grabbed, our emotions stirred, our actions directed by these earthly matters - but what of something far more precious?

What do we say to ourselves when we read a verse such as this, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

Do we place the focus on peace with all people while we ignore the rest? Or perhaps we dismiss the pursuit of holiness as something so unattainable, so unknowable, so impossible, that it is not worth our time or effort?

What do we do with verses that tell us to spend our days, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Do we cringe and pull back from such old testament phrases - holiness and fear? Or perhaps we read right past it, refusing to apply it as a command that is meant to be followed by us, right now, and every day of our lives?

This call to holiness is no rare occurrence in the Scriptures. We see the same command given repeatedly, here again by Peter, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

Ah, we’ve turned off the last light, found the source of the sound, identified the flavor, named the actor and all their appearing - but will any of it matter if we have not perfected holiness?

I speak to you, but also to myself.

Quickly, search your heart. What do you think of the pursuit of holiness?

Do you prioritize it or has it been dismissed long ago? Is it a must-have or simply a nice-to-have one day?

I’m speaking directly to you now.

I see the launch of the new business. The start of the new diet. The amount of energy invested in orchestrating all the pieces of a recently changed life. The concern applied to matters pertaining to sports and entertainment. Refusing to miss this or that event.

But where is your holiness? Where did it go?

I pray that we would once again be bothered, not resting until it’s been resolved. I pray that every impurity would be an irritant that we can’t ignore, as we seek out the source until it’s been set right. Where is it coming from? What is causing it? It must be remedied. We must perfect holiness in the fear of God.

Holiness adorns His house. Let it once again adorn ours.

In love,

Derek