In my last few posts, I have talked about boundaries and holiness and how they actually go together. If you haven't had a chance to read them, I would encourage you to do so.
Today, I wanted to talk about the two sides to holiness. Just as the Bible is a two-edged sword, holiness has two edges, as well, that require some cutting away, for sure.
One part of holiness is the cutting away of the things that are not holy. Holiness is to be set apart from the world. Set apart from the world means that the world has nothing to offer me because I am complete in Christ, and completely satisfied with Jesus and all that He is. Holiness is to put off anything that is not of God.
Ephesians 4:22 says, "put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires". This is an imperative statement.
In other words, "YOU, put off your old self." What does that look like? Well, you chose not to go where Jesus would not go, you choose not to think of yourself as less than who God says you are, you choose not to say things that Jesus wouldn't say, and you chose the fruit of the Spirit over the deeds of the flesh.
But there is another side to holiness. While there is being set apart from the world, there is also being set apart to God.
Set apart from the world and set apart to God.
Set apart to God means that He gets all of me. I withhold nothing from Him. He is Lord, Master, Boss of all of it...all of ME. And as I walk with Him, He continues to reveal more areas that I need to give over to Him as Lord. Practically, this means that my heart, my ears, my mouth, my time, my money, my schedule, my abilities, ALL if it is HIS. All that I am is His. All of it is for His glory.
When we set ourselves apart from the world but not to God, we are a Pharisee described in the Bible. We are consumed with the rules and making certain we are appearing holy whole our hearts are far from God. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs, and a clean cup on the outside but dirty on the inside.
When we say we are set apart to God but participate in things that we know are not what Jesus would say or do, we are a hypocrite, pretending to be something we are not. This being lukewarm is sickening to the Lord, so much that He said He would spew us out of His mouth.
God will not settle for one or the other. He will not settle for you being set apart from the world without being separated to Himself. He wants both. His holiness requires both separation from the world and separation to Him alone. God help us to be holy.
You are loved,