High Calling

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (I Peter 1:15)

Certain criteria appear to be altogether unattainable. This charge, perhaps more than any other, stands at the top of such a list: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” Why would our Heavenly Father be so demanding? From the outset, knowing we are destined for failure, we rationalize that it is highly improbable we could ever succeed at this unreasonable request. We forfeit without even trying.

It is not hard to imagine why the Lord put this standard in place. As mere humans we scrub dishes, soap hands, and wash clothes. We recoil from pressing our lips against a dirty glass or purchasing a soiled garment. We sanitize and deodorize our day-to-day existence. Why then would we suppose that a Holy God would want to reside in impure hearts or embrace our unholy ways?

God’s call for us to be holy does not mean he wants us to master perfection in order to impress others. He is not interested in us earning brownie points to win his favor. Spiritual snobbery is not a hallmark he designed for any of us. Neither is his call to holiness a hurdle he places in our path like a harsh tyrant intent on our demise.

Rather, with the benevolence of a gracious Father, God’s call for us to strive for holiness is an invitation to participate with him in developing a heart he intended all along. He longs for us to experience a deeper, purer relationship with him. He desires for us to commune with him with unencumbered hearts, free from barriers that distance us from him. In essence he says, “You can become holy. I have provided the way for you to be holy because I am holy and I am living within you. I have given you the Holy Spirit to assist you. You have my Holy Word with everything you need to develop a life of holiness.”

God tells us throughout his Word that we represent him as his ambassadors, and we should reflect his character. In a myriad of ways he reinforces this truth: Be forgiving for I am a Forgiving God; be loving for I am Loving; be merciful for I am Merciful. A lifestyle marked by holiness is completely consistent with every one of his decrees.

Truthfully, he has the right to make such a demand since we do not belong to ourselves. He purchased us with the life of his beloved Son. He redeemed us from the slavery of sin and ransomed us “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (I Peter 1:18-19).

We serve a Holy Righteous God. As his beloved children, may our lives imitate our Father.

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

Photo: Paul Westel

Related Post

Mindful

Mindful

“What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) Come on in, Lord. You are welcome in this room where I easily and often usher in others. Would you make...

read more
Life in Hand

Life in Hand

“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD of hosts is his name.” (Jeremiah 31:35) The ocean sneaks up on the...

read more
A Tribute

A Tribute

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:25-26 Our dynamic, loving Aunt Althea went home to heaven last week,...

read more

4 Comments

  1. Bennett DeBerry

    Amen and Amen, thank you Elizabeth for the enlightenment. I always wondered about that verse, now I have a better understanding.

    Reply
  2. Paula Gast

    How true, how true! We are loved and privileged people by a loving, HOLY God!! And I join you in praising Him!!

    Reply
  3. Jeanie herndon

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder

    Reply
  4. Ray Bridgham

    Amen

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share This