“You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” Leviticus 20:26
Today I finished reading Leviticus. Throughout this book, I kept seeing verses related to being holy. For example, in addition to the verse above, Leviticus 20:7-8 says, “So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I, the Lord, am your God. Keep all my laws and obey them, for I am the Lord, who makes you holy.” Leviticus 11:44 and 19:2 also contain a similar message.
I’ve thought about God’s holiness throughout the day today. And since I tend to like to think out loud, I thought I’d write a little bit about what I’ve been thinking (not at all in a preachy kind of way – this is obviously something I’m wrestling with myself!). What does it mean or look like to live a life that is “set apart” or “holy” for the Lord?
I’ve been wondering if there are there any rules or regulations from the Old Testament that we’ve dropped in the name of the New Covenant that we maybe shouldn’t have? I see things like ‘permanent regulation’ and wonder why we don’t follow it today. I love that Jesus’ blood covered our sin once and for all – I firmly believe we don’t need additional blood to earn God’s forgiveness. I also am grateful that the New Testament speaks about grace rather than the heavy burden of rule upon rule.
Yet, my question still remains: how should we live our lives to honor a holy God? Chapter 26 of Leviticus talks about blessings for obedience and punishments for disobedience. It struck me that God said He would punish the people for their sin seven times over, and then it said “if you still refuse to obey and remain hostile” (vs. 23), another punishment seven times over would come. Later it said “if you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile” and listed even more punishments (vs. 27). Eventually, though, God said the people would humble themselves and confess their sins and He would remember the covenant with them.
As I read through this book, I thought about my own sin. 😦 Do I treat the Sabbath as holy? Do I treat God’s Name as holy? Do I follow what God asks me to do? What can I do to live humbly before God? How do I treat my life and my body as sacred before Him? As Paul says in the New Testament, while everything may be permissible, not everything is beneficial. My goal for today (and going forward, of course) is to think about what I’m doing and what I’m eating. Am I living as holy, set apart for God? Am I treating myself as the temple where God dwells and therefore honoring God with my body, particularly in what I eat? Am I treating my time as sacred? Am I doing things that would please the Lord (including the sometimes seemingly “mundane” tasks of being a mom, wife, etc) or am I being selfish and treating holy things as common?
What a challenge! I fall so short of the glory of God! But, is there one area where I can try to do a better job of honoring God, showing Him respect and acknowledging His holiness?
How about for you? Is there anything that God has been speaking to you about? How can you live as holy and set apart by God as His child?
Dear Father, we are honored to be your children. You are so holy and worthy of our respect, adoration and praise. Lord, we humbly confess that we have treated holy things as common, including our bodies and our time. We have been unfaithful to You and even ignored Your promptings at times. Lord, we deserve punishment, but we ask that the blood of Jesus would cover our sin. Please help us change direction, focus our attention on You and remember Your holiness when we make our decisions. May we live our lives as set apart and holy because we are Yours. Thank You, God, for all You do for us. Thank You for the blessings for obedience and thank You for your love and just punishment when we disobey. May our lives glorify and honor You. Please make us healthy and thin for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!