“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
I used to struggle uncomfortably with the command of God to be holy as He is holy…not because I didn’t believe it or think I could become more holy, but because I couldn’t imagine being holy in the same way that God is holy. I equated holiness with perfection, which only God is. Until I understood fully that the Christian life is a process of becoming holy through emulating the life of Jesus Christ, I fought the despair of never being able to attain what the command seemed to imply.
Several months ago, a friend of ours gave us a copy of a book he had written, and in it I discovered what for me, was an incredible treasure about the holiness of God compared to the holiness of His people. In his book, God Focus, Walter Price shared a fascinating insight. He stated that when comparing degrees or levels of holiness in English, we use the terms holy, holier and holiest. In Hebrew, there are no such words to describe different degrees of holiness; therefore, the word holy is repeated in order to give it higher levels of importance. For example, “holy, holy, holy” equates to “holiest”. We, God’s children, can be holy, but only God is “holy, holy, holy.” Only God is “holiest.”
My husband, Dave, preached a sermon recently where he pointed out that holiness is a process that requires something of us, even as the Lord “makes” us holy: “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy” (Leviticus 20:-8). To be consecrated means that we are set apart for a purpose…God’s kingdom purpose! If the Lord, who makes us holy, is to do so, we must first set ourselves apart from the standards of behavior that the world says is acceptable. We must keep His decrees and follow them, even if they are unpopular with the world. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. We are to set ourselves apart because of our reverence for our Father.
Therefore, my prayer for holiness must come from a heart of deeply felt worship, awe and desire. It is a realization that I will not be “zapped” with holiness simply because I ask my Father for it. With the life of Jesus as my model and the Holy Spirit as my teacher, I must pray for the strength to set myself apart and do what He has commanded. My prayer includes gratefulness that I am able to be in the process of holiness only because my Abba Father is holy, holy, holy!
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle with God as we align our hearts with His plans and purposes for His glory and for the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website). Kim is a member of America's National Prayer Committee, VP of Gospel Revivals, Inc. and on the Advisory Board for America Prays.
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.