Leviticus 18-19; Matthew 28; Psalm 124
If we allow God to define God, and we probably should, our understanding of the call – the clear command of God – will come into a different focus.
Look at this:
Leviticus 19 1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
First of all, did you know that this is the call? The call to holiness is for Israel, yes. But remember, we have been grafted in (Romans 11:11-31). The Lord has called us to be His priests as believers. This isn’t some special directive to the spiritually elite. This is our call.
“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Kind of amazing, isn’t it?
And if we continue to let the Lord define our call, and how to walk in that calling, and we should! We might be surprised at what constitutes holiness from His perspective.
You may be surprised to discover that the call to holiness doesn’t involve going to a monastery or becoming a nun in some desolate place. It doesn’t involve giving anything we don’t have. On the contrary, the call is to give exactly and only what we do have!
3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.
If we let the Lord define holiness, then at the top of the list is this mandate to revere or honor our parents.
At first glance, isn’t this almost shocking? “Be holy as I am holy… and by that, I mean honor your parents.” (my paraphrase)
Surely the Lord knows not all parents are deserving of reverence. Right?
What is the Lord getting at?
I think it has to do with this: The Lord knows far better than we do about the fallenness of our hearts. He knows that more than abuse, it’s pride that will take us out.
Haven’t we learned that nothing we experience from the outside-in can ultimately defile us? It’s what comes out of our hearts that makes us unclean.
Someone we love and trust told us this:
Mark 7 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.
How do we walk in holiness? We honor our parents. For those who have suffered abuse at the hands of their caregivers, this may feel impossible. But it’s not.
Does this excuse the abuse?
By no means.
But the call remains the same. We can sing songs, light candles, and involve ourselves in every ministry opportunity afforded by the church. But we will remain bound until we come into the main and plain of the call of God.
This is not impossible! God will help you as you say yes. And as you say yes, I can say with full assurance of the Gospel, you will be made free! You can trust the Lord!
Let’s go back.
“And you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.”
The call to holiness involves the command to rest.
When was the last time you honored the Sabbath? When was the last time we allowed our minds to stop fretting and enjoyed our families?
Again, this call to holiness isn’t about giving what we can’t, but about giving what we can.
We can all stop doing.
This is Sabbath. Stop. Pause. Look to God.
If we let the Lord define holiness, we will find the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We need to come back to the simple commands of our God. As we do, we will find peace and joy.
Let’s stop making this complicated. The Gospel is simple communion. Let’s keep saying yes.
Deepening Faith: Reflective Journal Prompts
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