Thoughts on holiness

The other day as I was pondering over the meaning holy, and interesting thought struck me.  So you may understand how I came to my conclusion (which I’ll mention later), let’s review just a bit.

I said yesterday that holy means to be set apart to something.  We as Christians are called to be set apart to God.  In everything we do, whether thoughts or actions.  Now, I understand that holy is generally seen as only a religious term.  However, going back to the original meaning of the word, holy can be applied to many things.  For example, a lot of older siblings can say that there possessions are holy (or any sibling for that matter).  The possessions are set apart to them and for their use alone. 😉  While I wouldn’t encourage turning holy into an everyday word, this brought an interesting thought to my mind.

It happens to be along the lines of emotional purity.  Guys may have a semi difficult time understanding everything this post, but hang in with me.  Girls, I know how hard it is not to give away your heart.  This is one of my personal struggles as well.  I know what it is like to see a boy and have your mind jump to wondering if he’s “the one.”  You begin to daydream about him.  Schoolwork becomes even more of a chore because you’re thoughts keep drifting to this certain someone.  I have spent hours employed in daydreaming, and I can wholeheartedly assure you that it is a pathetic waste of time.  Not only does it take time away from serving God and other more useful pursuits.  But to quote Ecclesiastes 8:7, “Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?”  We do not know what the future holds for us.  So every minute we spend thinking (or obsessing) over anyone is a wasted one. (Guys, don’t think your getting out of this one.  It applies to you too.)  2 Corinthians 10:5 commands us to “…take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”   Also, 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

You are probably asking yourself by now, “What does this have to do with holiness?”  Let me explain.  Remember that being holy means to be set apart to something.  Generally it is referring to us being set apart to God, but it can be used for anything.  Now, I know from experience how hard it is to keep my thoughts pure.  But the other day I thought of something interesting.  Each of us, of whom God has ordained for marriage, are holy to our future spouses.  God has meant for our emotions to be for them alone.  Our whole selves are set apart, first to God of course, but also to our future husband or wife.  Because of this, any thought or flirting action towards someone other than your future spouse is a desecration of this set apart-ness.  You are meant for them alone, and it is in essence defiling yourself and that future relationship.

Now here is where I must stress the Ecclesiastes passage I mentioned earlier.  Some people might say, “But I know who God has for me!”  But “Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?”  We cannot know for certain what the future holds.  This especially true for young people (those who are not of marrying age).  You do not know what God has for you in the future, so it is worthless to spend time thinking about it now.  Even if this certain person is who God has for you, right now is not the time to spend dwelling on it.  In many places I have read that while we are single is the time to be pursuing hard after God and His truths.  When we are married, we will have more responsibilities.  We will not have as much time as we do now to study the Scriptures and learn more about God.  But if we are obsessing over the future, we are wasting the precious time God has given to us now.  Ecclesiastes 8:5,6 says, “Whoever obeys His command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.  For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.”  Right now is our time to be focusing on God.  Not our future with some boy (or girl).

Again, I know how hard it is to not think about such things.  But we need to acknowledge our weakness, and seek strength from God.  Like all sins, this is not a matter we should ignore.  Seek to please God in every area of your life.  Even in your thoughts and dreams.  Learn to cry out to God,

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25,26)

Soli Deo Gloria!

~Tee-Kaye

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What is holiness?

Many Christians have hear of the term holy.  It is mentioned throughout the Bible.  Such as in Revelation 4:8 where the four living creatures said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  We know from this and other passages that God is indeed holy.  However, few of us stop to think about what exactly does holy mean.  Also, we are told in Romans 12:1 that, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  In this passage, we are clearly told that we are supposed to be holy.  Since we need to be holy, it makes sense that we should figure out what it is means to be holy.

So what is holiness?  There is a common misconception among believers that holiness is synonymous with righteousness.  The think it merely means to be pure in God’s sight.  However, this is not true.  The true meaning of holy is: to be set apart to something.  In the Old Testament, all the articles of the temple were holy to the Lord.  This means then, that they were set apart for God in the use of His temple.  They were set apart from normal everyday use, and were specially set apart to God.  But then, if this is the true definition of holy, how can God be holy?  Because, God is set apart to Himself.  He is unlike anything we know, and is not set apart to any of His creation.  He is set apart to Himself.

But what I would more so like to focus on in this post is how we as Christians should be holy.  The Romans 12:1 passage told us we need to be “holy and acceptable to God.”  So what does this mean?  As I mentioned earlier, holy means set apart.  So we must be set apart from the world, to God.  How is this lived out?  We must search the Bible to know what God desires us to do in obedience to Him.

Paul goes on to say in Romans 21:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  God tells us through Paul, that we are not to act like the world.  Instead, we should discern what the will of God is in every situation and do what is good, acceptable and perfect in His eyes.

A good place to start in determining what God wants us to do is to first know what must not not be done.  Galatians 6:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkeness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such thinks will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  2 Timothy 2:22 also says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”  These are all things that God detests, and they are things that the world does.  Thus, we must not do these things.  Of course, alone we stumble and disobey, but by God’s grace, he will cause us to walk in His ways. (Ezekiel 36:27)

Instead, what should we do.  This is where the Bible, and in particular the New Testament is very helpful.  It is chock full of instruction of what a Christian must do to be separate from the world and be set apart to God.  I will only mention a few such places.   Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Romans 12 also contains a good passage telling us how we must live.

In conclusion then, we are called to be separate from the world.  Instead we must be set apart to God and for use in His kingdom.  We are not to live as the world does.  We are called to flee youthful passions and the lusts of the flesh.  Instead we must live pure, upright lives for the glory of our Savior!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1) 

Soli Deo Gloria!

~Tee-Kaye