Dear God, when others see me fail, may they also see me honestly confess, and may they see me transformed to be like You.
Read Ezekiel 36:16-38
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Holiness is the visible side of salvation” (Charles Spurgeon).
As the failures of ancient Israel profaned God’s name among the nations (22), so also the inconsistencies of Christian churches too often unwittingly aid and abet strident atheist campaigns against God. However, as God promised to show the holiness of his great name by delivering his people from exile (23,24), so also he promises to show his holy otherness so powerfully to the world through a revived and consecrated church that even the godless might one day say, “God is really among you!” (1 Cor. 14:25). How awesome! How frightening! And how problematic! For in stark contrast to the biblical picture of “the Holy One,” the popular imagination conceives God as little more than a benign, somewhat larger-than-life Father Christmas. For Ezekiel, holiness is the most elemental quality of God, the quintessence of deity.
It is not only the world that has to be convinced of the holiness of God. For in the church also the biblical revelation of God and its implications can sometimes be an embarrassment. The pursuit of holiness is perhaps too often confused with a quest for happiness. For while we profess to know God, in practice we allow the contemporary idols of consumerism, self-help and self-fulfillment to have a higher claim on us. Like ancient Israel, our Achilles heel is idolatry (compare verses 18 and 25).
Despite worldly enmity and churchly hedonism, divine holiness is communicable (1 Pet. 1:16). The people of God are the media. The Holy Spirit provides the dynamic by effecting a dramatic change in us (25-27). He gives us a new heart, thereby delivering us from our self-obsession and moving us to live in ways that communicate a sense of God’s intense purity to those around us. Ask God’s Spirit to make you a carrier of divine holiness.
“Then the nations will know” (23). Pray that God will show you the precise role he wants you to play in helping the nations to know him.
Lord, when the world looks at my life, may they see You radiating through me.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.