Lately I feel that God has been teaching me a lot about His holiness. I have been reading an attributes of God study by A.W. Tozer which has really been focusing a lot on just how holy God is. Combine that with my daily Bible reading, (been reading Psalms, 1 and 2 Kings which continually proclaims the holiness of God), I feel like God is trying to teach me something.
I know that God is holy, but at the same time, I don’t really understand, comprehend or know what that means. If I truly believed and understood just how holy God is, wouldn’t that change so many things in my life? Today I want to discuss a few implications when we better understand the holiness of God. I don’t think any of us can ever perfectly comprehend this massive truth, but if we let ourselves meditate on this idea more, I think it could really cause some profound changes in our lives.
The first implication is more humility about my holiness. I think any of us who have been Christians for a while can start to get puffed about how far we have come. And while this is a good thing when we give praise to God for growing us, I feel that I often pat myself on the back more then give God the glory. Or, maybe I start to look at others around me and compare my strengths to their weaknesses. This only leads me to start to think of myself as more holy than I really am.
But when I look at the amazing holiness of God, it is impossible for me to be arrogant or proud of my own holiness. In Isaiah 6 we learn that there are creatures in heaven who day in and day out proclaim: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (verse 3). That is some holiness. If we can grasp just how holy God is, it will help us be humble about our own holiness.
Second, we will have more reverence, awe and praise for God. I feel that I am often not awestruck by how holy God is. I don’t let it sink in and that can often effect many aspects of my spiritual life. My prayer life, devotional times and even worship can seem less passionate because I am not aware of just how majestic God is. When we let our minds dwell on just how holy God truly is, our heart cannot help but sing out praise for Him.
Third, when we try to better understand God’s perfect holiness, it also leads to a greater dependence on God. Once we have been humbled and awestruck by God’s great holiness, the next thing that usually occurs is a deep desire in our hearts to be holy. 1 Peter 1:16 says “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” On our own, this is an impossible task. But through the blood of Christ we are made holy. We then walk each day realizing how dependent we are upon God to hold us and keep us. We realize how prone to wander into sin our flesh is, and that makes us cling all the more to our holy savior.
Finally, we will be more compassionate and loving towards the unholy. As we gaze upon God’s holiness, we can’t help but realize how unholy we are. This could lead to depression, guilt or shame except Christ has forgiven us and we are washed clean. Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” I am able to love and be compassionate towards those in this world who are unholy because I realize that I also am unholy but through Christ, I have been made holy. Because Christ didn’t look at me in my unholiness as too far from being saved, I should not look at anyone else that way either.
My hope and prayer for all of us is that we would spend more time just meditating and dwelling on just how holy our great God is. I think the implications can be huge if we would just realize how perfectly holy God is. Spend time this week thinking about the holiness of God. The Bible is filled with stories, exhortations and examples of God’s perfect holiness, (the Old Testament brims with it. A personal favorite is how when God spoke with Moses the Israelites couldn’t even touch the mountain because God was so holy his holy spilled over and made the mountain holy, (Exodus 19). Let us all realize the God we worship is perfectly holy and may that lead us into greater humility, more praise, more dependence and greater compassion.