do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. for what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? or what fellowship has light with darkness? what accord has Christ with Belial? or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “i will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and i will be their God, and they shall be my people. therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then i will welcome you, and i will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” [2 corinthians 6:14-18]
holiness. a word we toss around like play money, lightly claiming it as our calling, praying for it weakly as though it’s a lofty idea that we can never obtain. we use it in place of the word “perfect” or “sinless” and don’t seek it because we believe here in this life on earth, it will never be ours, or at least not until we get our act together. “i’ll be holy when i read my bible more.” “i’ll be holy when i can give up _______.” or, “i’ll be holy when i get to heaven.”
in reality, holy describes every child of God. no matter how short a time you’ve been a believer, God calls you holy. it means he has set you apart for something other than anything you’ll find here on earth. it means you are now about something completely different. you’re no longer about finding identity here. you’re no longer about seeking glory here. you have been grabbed out of the rat race, stamped with the name son or daughter, and given a new purpose – God’s glory. being holy means you are now all about God’s glory, because God is all about God’s glory. he’s restoring his glory in you, and using you to reconcile the world to himself. let’s sit in that reality for just a minute and marvel at his goodness. thank you, Father, for the mercy of this new name and new purpose through your Son.
now, if we have a new purpose, why would we continue to seek after the old one, a partnership with the world? why would we try to restore our old identity when we’ve been given a new one? God has given us a new name and purpose, and called us to be separate from our old self and anyone associated with it. this doesn’t mean we close ourselves off from the world. but it does mean we no longer feel comfortable looking like it. we should yearn to look different. we should yearn for the world to know this new purpose we have in Christ Jesus. how then, will they see it, if we look just the same as we did? if we look no different from the world, why would there be any need for them to be made new?
my blue letter bible search for the phrase “be holy” came up with 428 results. God does not take lightly what he has called to be holy. he does not take lightly your call to be all about his glory. so what is holding you back today?
Father in heaven, holy is your name. (matt 6:9) search me, God, and know my heart! try me and know my thoughts! and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (ps 139:23-24)
~ arwen eastman