Holiness and You

We just celebrated the birth of our Savior and King. Rather being depressed and burdened with post-holidays “blues,” begin a new journey to understand your Heavenly Father. To begin that journey, let me ask if you remember the story where Moses was minding his own business taking care of some sheep when YHWH spoke to him from a burning bush, commanding him: “Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). That would be rather shocking, don’t you think? Now, don’t be confused, because Holy ground is not a physical place, but a spiritual one. So what made it Holy? The presence of our God! That is all it took!

When YHWH commanded Moses to take off his shoes because he was on Holy ground, he was not referring to a two-by-four piece of real estate—he was talking about a spiritual state. A Holy God must have a Holy man on Holy ground; in fact, God can’t use a man until he gets him on Holy ground.

But what does that all mean? Well, first it is Holy, solely because YHWH is there. You can see this fleshed out when Yahweh provided the instructions for building the Wilderness Tabernacle. The part about removing his sandals was, and remains, a standard Middle Eastern sign of respect when someone enters the presence of a king or a god. However, did you notice that the Lord did not say, “since you are in the presence of YHWH, you must remove your sandals.” No, the reason Moses had to remove his sandals was because the ground, the dirt surrounding the bush had taken on a Holy condition.

You see, something taught in Torah, Holiness was something that could be transmitted from person to person, or person to object, or object to object. I know that sounds pretty weird for us because the Biblical definition of holiness and its qualities is something that modern Christianity does not understand and in fact, tends to shy away from studying. But, from as a Biblical principle, the removal of the sandals was that, as the Lord says, the very dirt Moses was standing on was Holy because YHWH was near.

Okay, so how come the dirt was holy? Because Holiness was transmitted to it from a Holy God — it was completely unavoidable. Please realize how tragic it would have been for the Holiness of the dirt surrounding the Burning Bush, to be transferred to Moses’ sandals. Think about it, wherever he walked, those sandals would have transmitted Holiness to whatever they touched. As I was saying, this is a rather dicey issue, most Christians prefer to avoid. We can‘t see it in this account, but this whole incident is one that was quite dangerous because it involves YHWH‘s Holiness.

The important thing for us to understand here is that from YHWH’s perspective, Moses was invited into this Holy place because he had journeyed through a “wilderness” time of testing, a time of preparation, a place in his growth where the Lord could get through to him. The Lord does not invite people into His presence until they are ready to receive from Him, ready to listen, mature enough to be willing to respond to the dealing of a Holy God.

Please don’t start thinking that Moses stood alone on holy ground. So was all of Israel—even though they were at the end of their hope. Let me explain what I am saying. YHWH had been preparing Moses for his role in the deliverance of Israel — at the same time, He had been at work setting to time and condition of the nations deliverance.

Do you remember the forty years the people lived in the wilderness? During that time the Lord was preparing Israel as well as Moses. All this was being done by way of loving judgment. The Lord was driving Israel back to Holy ground — back to a hunger for Jehovah.

While Moses was on the mountain being stripped of all his rights — because that is what was meant by the removal of his shoes — Israel was in the valley being stripped of all human strength. Moses would have no rights; Israel would have no strength. Yahweh could prove Himself strong on their behalf in no other way. The great I AM was being revealed! What I hope you are learning is that we will have to travel the same route to usefulness. That is, stripping of all of our self-pride and all of our self-confidence.

This can be done . . . in fact; it is being done through the power and instruction of the Holy Spirit in your life. It is a day-by-day journey with your Lord, and this journey can be traveled joyfully. Michael Card wrote and beautiful song about that:

There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all who believe
Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

To all who’ve been born of the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that’s before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey
And freedom for those who obey

Nickolas

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)

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