I know some of these plays on words are cliché by now, but it struck me how true this one is, and I have never seen it before as far as I know, so it might even be original. Being holy before the Lord is not something written or talked about much in the church today, since the popular message seems to be grace. And the way grace is talked about in many cases is not necessarily Biblical.
So what does it mean to be holy before the Lord? Most of us know it is not something we can produce on our own. Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and causes us to stand blameless before a holy God. And we can find salvation and eternal life in this.
But this is only the beginning. Most of us, when we first encounter Christ and allow His blood to cleanse us, are still carrying ideas, activities and prejudices from our past life. This is where the play on words in my title comes in. The more wholly we give ourselves to the Lord, the more of us he is making holy for his purpose.
As simple as this process is, it is certainly not easy. Some of the things that stand between us and complete holiness, are lodged with the intention to stay. And when I say complete holiness, I do not mean that we are not already made holy in a fundamental way, but that there are parts of us not surrendered to be made holy yet. These parts are of no value to God—they are mere pieces of the chaff the Bible talks about in Matthew 3:12, and they cannot stand in the presence of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
He brings these things to light, and we allow them to be burned up in His presence as we give ourselves more wholly to Him. And He replaces this chaff with gold, that is also being purified with the same fire that burns up the chaff. This purification causes another level of holiness and effectiveness to come out of us that had been buried and practically invisible behind the chaff before.
Instead of being dismayed at this process, we should see it as faithfulness on God’s end to not leave us where we are content to wallow. At one time we were content to wallow in constant sin without any hope for eternal life as well—until God drew us into something better. So let us continue to allow Him to draw us more and more, because we still don’t seem to know what is best for us.
And as we give ourselves more wholly to the One who does know what is best for us, we will become truly holy in more and more areas and in more and more ways for His glory.