‘And they will call them “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord”; And you will be called “Sought Out, A City Not Deserted.’ (Isaiah 62:12 Amp.)
When I was in primary school and a lucky child saw a missing item, especially an expensive one, hearing “lost but found” is usually good news after a search party has made everyone sweat profusely. Sometimes such items are not important to us children. However, they mean a lot to our teachers. This childhood experience makes me appreciate why God called His own, ‘the sought out; the people He wholeheartedly gave His son who spent his destined time pursuing no career than searching and laboring to bring a holy people out of the darkness. We were lost but found. You were sought out to exhibit God’s holiness in love.
What does it mean to be Holy?
Holiness means being distinct, separated, and unique. It does not mean being segregated or living as a lone ranger. As a matter of fact, holiness cannot be tested or lived in isolation. Sometimes, some believers who truly love the Lord find it irritating to stay with unbelievers. They also find it reluctant to preach with genuine love. Such an attitude does not necessarily make one holy in God’s sight.
Everything about God is Holy
The first song in the Bible can be found in Exo. 15; the last song appears in Rev. 15. And both focus on God’s holiness. “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, working wonders?” (Exo. 15:11).
When Apostle John was given the privilege of seeing into the future, he saw a brief moment when the final outpouring of the wrath of God was about to occur. Those whose faith and allegiance to God in defiance of the rule of the Antichrist had cost their lives gathered in heaven. And John noted that “they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful and awe-inspiring are Your works (in judgment), O Lord God, the Almighty (the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all); Righteous and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear (reverently) and glorify Your name, O Lord (giving You honor and praise in worship)? For You alone are holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before You, for your righteous acts (your just decrees and judgments have been revealed and displayed”. (Rev. 15:3-4)
In between Ex. 15 and Rev. 15, we can see several ways God expressed that He is holy. Lloyd Stilley, in his writings, expressed that holy is used more often as a prefix to God’s name than any other adjective. Two men in Scripture who were allowed to see into the throne of God and wrote about it; both reported hearing the same refrain, spoken day and night: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Isaiah 6:3; Rev. 4:8). Unfortunately, we live in a generation of those who are eager to express awesome praises without holy hearts.
A Personal Revelation of God’s Holiness
I feel humble to present the same truth about God’s holiness. It takes a personal revelation to understand why righteous Job would say to God, “I had heard of You (only) by the hearing of the ear, But now my (spiritual) eyes see You. Therefore I retract (my words and hate myself) and I repent in dust and ashes”. (Job 42:5-6).
If one keeps off from distractions and draws near to the common things God sets on fire by His presence, one will understand why Moses feared to move near and took off his sandals staring at the bush that burned with God’s awesome presence. (Exodus 3:5)
If we will be meek like Isaiah, a man of God who studied, thought about, and taught the holiness of God for years before having a personal encounter with this holy God, and was left saying, “woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of (ceremonially) unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
What does Holiness mean to you?
Holiness means being set apart from anything impure in order to be completely given over to what God says is pure. With this understanding, we can agree with what 1 John 1:5 says: “…in Him there is no darkness at all (no sin, no wickedness, no imperfection)”. James tells us that “God cannot be tempted by (what is) evil, and He himself tempts no one” (James 1:13). Additionally, “God’s eyes are too pure to approve evil”. (Hab. 1:13). Only holy people can see God. (Heb.12:14).
Conclusively, what difference does the Holy Spirit make in our lives if our fruit does not yield holiness? Does the holiness of God work for you in Christ or against you? Or are you afraid of carrying your sin and an appointment with the fierce wrath of God? What is the proof that the Holy Spirit indwells you? Does your attitude, choices, decisions, habits, language, and interaction, show that you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a (special) people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies (the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections) of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9). It’s time to seek the Lord afresh with a pure heart as the truly sought out by God.