What is holiness? The word itself speaks of being set apart for exclusive use. We can also say that anyone or anything that is holy is sacred.
When Moses was getting his “call” from God into the ministry there in the desert, he was told to remove his sandals because the place where he stood was holy ground. Joshua experienced a similar situation upon entering the Promised Land, even while it was still under the control of the wicked Canaanites. What made these areas holy at those particular times was the presence of Deity, not Moses or Joshua.
Since God’s presence is holy territory, and since believers are temples of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, then every place we are becomes holy ground. Holiness is understanding and living in the presence of the Lord. Too often we strive to compartmentalize our lives, dividing our time into various categories under the headings of “religious” and “secular”. However, every activity, every phase and facet of our lives is to reflect holiness.
Being conformed into the image of Jesus is a call to being holy, as He is holy. Simply stated then, holiness means to be like Jesus. Jesus defines holiness for us. As we study the gospels we find holiness incarnate. Jesus is the one who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit that we might be His witnesses. When the Holy Spirit fills our lives, love fills our hearts and is the root of every deed. Even our greeting one another becomes holy.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1) Our bodies are to be holy temples, for we have been chosen to be holy. Not only is this holy calling for us as individuals, but we are collectively brought together for holiness. Therefore, anything unholy grieves the work of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives and services.
May we each “put on” holy garments every day, garments that reflect the nature of Jesus because being like Christ is what holiness is all about.