Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Author – Kim Butts
“Nothing but the knowledge of God, as the Holy One, will make us holy. And how are we to obtain that knowledge of God, except in the inner chamber, our private place of prayer? It is a thing utterly impossible unless we take time and allow the holiness of God to shine on us.” ~ Andrew Murray
Whenever Moses entered the presence of the Lord, his face shone: “It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him” (Exodus 34:29). His appearance was transformed by being with a holy God.
In the same way, the gaze of God, shining upon us as we meet with Him in the inner chamber of prayer, is able to transform us into His holy disciples. Being in the presence of God changes us…and the more time we spend with Him, the more He renovates our heart so that our lives reflect Jesus to everyone around us.
As I have been contemplating the mystery of God shining on us in all of His holiness in order that we might reflect the holiness of Christ Jesus, I dug into several scriptures that will help us to prayerfully ask for His holiness to be made manifest in us!
Chosen to Be Holy: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…” (Ephesians 1:4). We were chosen to be holy before the world came to be! What an amazing insight into the heart of God. He envisioned us as holy people even before He breathed us into existence.
Prayer: Father, what an amazing truth! You chose me even before you created the world to be holy and blameless in Your sight. I can hardly comprehend how it must grieve Your heart that Your people are so careless with this gift – myself included! Teach me to more fully understand what it means to be set apart for the purposes of Your kingdom! Shine on me, Holy God!
Called to Be Holy: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). After God chose us to be holy, God called us to seek after holiness. Knowing that we have a choice multiple times a day to reflect the life of Jesus in our actions and in what we say, He keeps calling us to choose the way of holiness. How well do we respond to His call?
Prayer: Righteous One, I bow my heart in anguish over my sinful ways and worldly choices. You have called me to be holy and I have not honored Your desire for me to be set apart for Your purposes. Teach me to obey Your call! Shine on me, Holy God!
Worship God – the Holy One: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness” (Psalm 29:2 NIV). “Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor” (1 Chronicles 16:29 NLT). In order to journey more deeply into the transforming work of God to make us His holy people, we must first focus on the glory of our Father, worshiping Him in His holiness. We cannot begin to comprehend the holiness of God in our own lives if we do not camp out in His holy presence.
Prayer: Father, I am in awe of Your holy splendor! You alone are worthy of worship and honor! You invite me into Your presence to give myself as an offering so that You might transform me by Your holiness. May I shine with Your holiness as You shape me into the image of Your Son, Jesus, so that I might be a living reflection of His character.
Be Holy Because He Is Holy: “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). Holiness is not an option – it is a command from Scripture! We cannot fully obey this mandate when prayer is a duty rather than a desire. Prayer is relationship with the Holy One! The One who desires us to be holy as He is holy! When we neglect this relationship, we cannot obey the call to be holy and to be holy in all we do.
Prayer: Holy One of Israel, deepen my desire to fully know You as I am fully known by You. Forgive me of my prayerlessness and thinking I can work my way towards holiness apart from seeking Your face. Show me what it truly means to be holy as You are holy! Shine on me Holy God!
Sharing in His Holiness: “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT). So many of us look at affliction and suffering as something to be avoided; however, God utilizes these things to refine us. We can’t just arrogantly expect to step into holiness without being purified, cleansed and decontaminated. Our worldliness needs to be contained and transformed into godliness. We should therefore welcome our suffering as the training ground for holiness. Zechariah 13:9 says, “I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” If we are unwilling to walk through the fire, we are unwilling to be holy as He is holy.
Prayer: Father, if I am truly honest, I don’t like discipline, and I would never choose to suffer if it was dependent upon my selfish desire to avoid discomfort. But I know that if these things were not a part of my life’s journey, I would stay an immature, ineffective believer rather than growing into a purified, kingdom-changing follower of Jesus. Give me the strength to endure your loving discipline, faith to believe that You are in the midst of my suffering, and a submissive spirit to allow the refining fire to do its work to make me holy as You are holy. Shine on me, Holy God!
Righteousness Leads to Holiness: “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness” (Romans 6:18-19). Paul pegs us! We are “weak in our natural selves”! We must guard ourselves from making unholy alliances with the ungodly culture around us. Jesus has set us free from sin and death; yet, we keep entangling ourselves in darkness and giving in to the temptations of seemingly harmless distractions. It is in prayer where the alliance with righteousness is made strong and kept whole!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, because of You, I have been set free from sin, and Your righteousness has become my own. Give me strength to choose holiness over the temptations of the world. Set off alarm bells in my soul whenever the evil one attempts to distract me from the purposes of Your kingdom. Shine on me, Holy God!
Perfecting Holiness: “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Even in this moment, each of us is likely aware of how easily entangled we can become with what contaminates our desire to be holy people. We cannot walk in integrity of heart when we harbor darkness within us.
Prayer: Holy God, show me how to purify myself from what pollutes my body and spirit! Guard my heart and help me to focus all that I am upon the beauty of Your holiness! Give me strength to walk away from the arrogance of my own thoughts and actions so that day by day I look more like Jesus. Show me how to walk towards a more perfect holiness. Shine on me, Holy God!
As we allow the presence of God to impact our lives, He will transform us from the inside out. God’s holiness will be manifested in and through our lives so that our faces truly will shine with the glory of Christ.
A.W. Tozer brings this all into a completed whole for us: “Holiness, as taught in the Scriptures, is not based upon knowledge on our part. Rather, it is based upon the resurrected Christ in-dwelling us and changing us into His likeness.”