Best of Daily Reflections: Holy Ground, Part 5 - Holy for a Purpose
“Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground."
For many Christians, holiness is thought to be a static state of purity. If we are holy, then we don’t do certain designated bad things. We abstain from fleshly sins, for example, so that we can be holy. This pleases God, and that’s the point.
To be sure, holiness pleases God. Moreover, refraining from evil is part of holy living. But our holiness is not just a goal for our lives. It is also a means to a larger goal. We are holy for a purpose . . . to live for God in this world.
Consider Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush. This was a profound experience for Moses. He surely felt awe and wonder, not to mention a good measure of fear as well. But the result of Moses’ encounter with a holy God was that he became holy. He was set apart by God for God and God’s purposes.
We see a contemporary illustration of purposeful “holiness” in the Olympics. Olympic athletes abstain from certain behaviors because they want their bodies and minds to be in prime condition for competition. They are “holy” for a purpose. Moreover, when it’s time for the Olympics, the athletes are set apart from ordinary people. The point of this “holy” existence in the Olympic Village is to help them focus on their sport. So the “holiness” of the athletes is not an end in and of itself, but rather a means to the end of excellent competition.
Similarly, we have been set apart by God so that we might be devoted to the work of his kingdom. We abstain from certain sinful behaviors, not only to please God, but also to be effective in his service. We withdraw from the ways of the world so that we might bring the kingdom of God to the world. Like Moses, our encounter with a holy God transforms us into holy people who devote our lives to God’s purpose for us and for the world.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever had an experience like that of Moses, when an encounter with God sent you into the world devoted to God’s purpose? When? How do you live out your set-apartness as you live in the world?
PRAYER: O Holy God, you have called me to be holy. By your grace, I am a “saint,” one who has been set apart by you for your purpose. So help me to live as a holy person each moment of each day. May I see my life—and live my life—wholly devoted to your holy purpose.
Thank you, gracious God, for choosing to make yourself known to me and for choosing me for your service. Amen.