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How Not to be Holy

Seems to me that one of the most self-defeating ways to try and be “holy” is to make it our purpose to be right about everything and wrong about (and in) nothing.

I say that after reviewing some seemingly obscure details, and a foundational concept of the whole Bible, from the record of Leviticus— the third book of Moses. From the 27th chapter (i.e. v 9-21) Moses explains how to make an animal, house, or piece of real estate “holy.”

Admittedly, this one passage doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about an idea that many of us both love and hate/understand and misunderstand. But it does tell us one very important fact. An animal, house, or field could be made “holy” by giving it to the LORD for the LORD’s use.

The idea is that something is “holy” if it is “set apart” for the LORD’s purposes.

My guess is that those of us who want to be followers of Christ would be far more “holy” (in a way that doesn’t sound “self-righteous” or “practically useless”) if we were preoccupied with being known for doing good– than known for being right.

Am afraid that if I go further at this point—I’ll kill the  discussion. So let me stop here and ask you to consider with me the purposes for which our God (1) sets us apart in Christ, and then (2) invites us to follow suite…

PS Took the pics the other night on a walk. Am thinking as I post this that they illustrate two different kinds of “holiness”– and that one of them needs to be our priority… (except that after some further thought… whoops, now that I think of it, both the Bumble Bee and the “going to seed/weed/flower” are actively carrying out their Creator’s purpose…)

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50 Responses to “How Not to be Holy”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    God’s presence in anything makes it Holy.

  2. poohpity says:

    Galatians 4:21-5:15 is a good description of the difference between being Holy and unholy. I just love the 15th verse of chapter 5 in the NLT, “But instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other.

    You are correct Steve, God’s presence in anything makes it Holy so what does that make us. Standing alone we are not Holy but Christ living in and through us now that makes us Holy.

  3. daisymarygoldr says:

    Cool night shots! I’m thinking maybe you are the useful Bumble bee and I am the useless weed:)!

    Thanks for drawing our attention to Lev 27 to remind us of the redemption of gifts (animal, house, or piece of real estate) offered to the Lord for His use. Jesus our High Priest redeemed us with His precious blood and has presented each one of us as Holy and to be set apart for God’s purpose.

    On our own we cannot try and be holy. It is God who separates us to be set apart as holy for Himself. “…And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Leviticus 20:24 “Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

    Here are some examples of something unclean/unholy that was given or offered to be set apart as Holy for the Lord’s purposes:

    1. When Aaron built an altar before the calf and announced a feast day to GOD, the people offered… whole-Burnt-Offerings, brought Peace-Offerings and then sat down to eat and drink and then began to party. It turned into a wild party! Exo 32: 5-6

    2. When Micah’s mother consecrated 1,100 silver pieces to God…sounds perfect and holy so far except for the fact that she gave it to a sculptor to cast them into the form of a god.

    Being right and doing good go hand in hand. First I have to be in the right relationship with God in Christ to love Him with all my heart. Only then I can do good… for others out of God’s holy love. If the order is reversed no matter how much good I do, it is like filthy rags and both I as well as my good deeds will never be acceptable to God.

    Paul writes “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1)

    To conclude, with another one of my favorites… By Freda Hanbury Allen:

    “Set apart” – a chosen vessel
    To the King of Kings,
    “Set apart,” for ever severed
    From all earthly things.

    “Set apart,” to bear the fragrance
    Of His blessed name,
    And with Him to share the sufferings
    Of a Cross of shame.

    “Set apart,” with him to suffer
    O’er a world undone,
    And to stand in fiercest conflict
    Till the fight be won.

    “Set apart,” – an earthen vessel,
    Empty, weak and small,
    Yet the treasure that it beareth
    Christ the Lord of all.

  4. diamonds says:

    Why is it that some words, even biblical words, sound like clanging cymbals?

  5. dependent says:

    I think it is important to distinguish between two aspects of holiness in the lives of Christ-followers–(1) being declared holy and (2) striving for growth in holiness. And I believe that increasingly doing right is the result of the dynamic between the two.

    Positionally we have been declared righteous and holy (set apart) through Christ’s atonement. It is through His atonement we can claim the legal right to stand before our Holy God and share in his glory. We have been given privileges to approach the throne–forever, without sin separating us from the unity and fellowship with our creator for which we were designed.

    Despite that status as set apart for holy service, scripture repeatedly exhorts us to grow in holiness, to strive for holiness. No way that could happen without the very life of the Holy Spirit who was given to us for the purpose (among other things) to bring forth an increasing measure of holiness in our conduct. The more of God’s holiness that is reflected in our daily conduct, the more of his glory is reflected to those about us.

    An easy mistake I think is to make this errant leap:
    “I’ve been declared holy, therefore all my daily actions, decisions, motives are indeed holy.”

    So, about the ‘being right’ vs ‘doing right’ question. I believe that our growth toward a more complete reflection of God’s holy attributes (the fruit of the Spirit’s work in us) isn’t a singular track. Our growth in ‘joy’, for example, can outpace our growth in ‘patience’. Or individually one may display more development in the fruit of ‘self-control’ than ‘faithfulness’. Much of the time this probably reflects where we’ve cooperated with our Teacher.

    It seems our growth in these various qualities that reflect the character of God is reflected for everyone to see–in WHAT we DO…and How we DO it…and what MOTIVATES our actions.

    How often have we seen the brother or sister who displays well-developed fruit of self-control and faithfulness, but lacks kindness and gentleness?

    Or one who displays the motivation and actions reflecting Christ’s love for people but are lacking in self-control?

    Speaking from personal experience, I think it is all too easy to let our pride accentuate the aspects of our character that are more godly, and minimize the aspects (or worse deceive ourselves) that are less developed/mature.

    I am soooo grateful for a loving, kind, faithful, gentle and good Counselor who is committed to enable me to “put to death the deeds of the body” and grow in personal holiness. And he chose me, called me, redeemed me knowing in advance how much work needs to be done!

  6. SFDBWV says:

    It is very difficult to set down with non Christians or other Christians and have a discussion about faith; without getting the attitude of being “right” about what it is we are trying to present.

    Because I present the Lord Jesus as also being God, there are other Christian “sects” that think I am wrong, not right in my presentation.

    As I discussed the Gospel with Sakoieta, he disagreed with me about the Bible and it’s Holy uniqueness.

    If I am to be successful in representing Christ, I must be both Holy (seperated for God’s use) and right about my presenting the Gospel to the lost and errant.

    So, I must be slow to speak, and follow the direction of Him who is in me. For it is Him who makes me Holy and Him who is given the burden of being “right”.

    Since every day is new, As I go out into the morning I ask God to make every aspect of this day blessed (Holy) that he bless (make Holy) my home and house and household,that He bless Matthew, Glenna and I with His presence in us and through us, that He bless the very dirt beneath us and the sky above us and all round bout us He place us in His sphere of love and protection.

    This is how I start my day, asking to be Holy and asking to be “right” in all that I say and do. Right being understood to be in total agreement and in total concert with God’s will in every thing.

    Fall has come to West Virginia. what a blessing it is for me to be here and smell the good earth and feel the misty rain in my face. God has certainly been good to me, and I thank Him.


  7. Mart De Haan says:

    Good thoughts to begin the day. Thanks, Steve.

    Looks like Fall is finally coming to West Michigan too. We’ve had such a mild and even balmy last couple of weeks. This morning it’s raining here, cooler temps and the leaves are beginning to turn.

  8. diamonds says:

    Wise words, Dependent. And they have a sweet aroma.

  9. poohpity says:

    Amen Dependent!! I learned a while ago that sometimes it is better to be kind than trying to be always right. I fail so many times wanting to be right that I push people away. Do not get me wrong I do not give up the truths I believe but at times it just may not be the right time to give them. At times it may be better to listen and always let others know I am in process. Being a Christian does not mean I am perfect just being transformed and that takes a life time. The Lord does not push His truths down our throats, they are to be a pleasant dipping of sweet honey to our minds and souls.

  10. diamonds says:

    I have read some thought-provoking words on this blog. Many times I have agreed with them. Many times I have not agreed with the person’s perspective. I do not believe that people are any less Christian or are always wrong because I don’t agree with them. I do believe that truth is absolute, but my understanding of that truth is not, nor is anyone else’s. Hardly ever is one willing to listen to an opposing view when one thinks he already has the answer. For example, from my perspective, just because a few men got together to make abortion and homosexuality their mantra, does not mean all Christians have to now vote based on two sins that have been lifted up beyond all others as the criteria for Christendom. We could discuss the point all day, but that does not mean we would reach agreement. Does that mean one is right and one is wrong? Does that mean one is now holier than the other? I think not. I have decided to look for those things that we can agree on. It seems we can all agree on the main things. Jesus Christ is God. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He lived, was crucified, died and was buried. He ascended and is coming back again to judge the quick and the dead. That I can agree on. All the other stuff is always going to lead to disagreement, but does allow for good discussion, if one has the right attitude. If one thinks his perspective on the extraneous stuff is always right, then that one is being very myopic. God is God, and we’re not. Let’s not forget that. Be blessed.

  11. wretch-like-me says:

    Marti asked us to offer perspectives:

    “…So let me stop here and ask you to consider with me the purposes for which our God (1) sets us apart in Christ, and then (2) invites us to follow suite…”

    WOW! I could write a doctoral dissertation. Theologians have spent years and written volumes.

    Maybe the shortest answer comes from that wonderfully simple hymn. “Jesus Loves Me, this I know…for the bible tells me so!”

    Okay, I cannot stop there. I cannot resist to add my thoughts.

    God wants to have a relationship with us. In order for that to happen certain conditions had to be met.

    God cannot (because of HIS Reality, essence, character) have a relationship with us in our ‘sinful’ UNHOLY condition.

    Nothing we can do can change that condition… except being ‘covered by the sacrificial blood’ of Christ.

    So long as we ‘wear fleshly tents’ we ‘prone to wander’ and easily deceived which requires ‘confession’ (agreement with God) that we have become ‘dirty’ and need to be ‘forgiven’ for ‘new’ failures.

    We do not need to be ‘saved’ only ‘cleansed’ and ‘re-consecrated’ with the understanding that we will continue to grow in the Spirit walking ever-closer to the path of righteousness by HIS Power.

    I believe it is critical to understand that nothing in my power can earn or make me Holy and acceptable to God. Once I have said ‘Yes’ to Salvation thru Christ, nothing can separate me from that Salvation(the Love of God) because it is a gift. I could nothing to earn it and therefore I can do nothing to lose it.

    The scriptures say we are created to Worship God. We do that by reflecting His Glory in our lives. What does that look like? Wellllllll…

    Christ said if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father. Study the life of Christ. Become His Disciple. Practice. Practice. Practice. Love people the way He Loved. If necessary, die for them.

    Strange… I have known many soldiers, police, and like-minded folk (firefighters, etc.) who seem to have no problem understanding this concept.

    Hope this wasnt too long or preachy.
    PS We’ve already had our first frost. Autumn is not far off and up here, can snow be far behind?

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Frank, I liked your condensed version of your doctoral dissertation.

    I too have fought off the urge to write volumes on many subjects. My need to lay down foundational thinking usually gets me bogged down and far off in tangents though. So I try to make it short.

    Fall’s colors are in full bloom here and traditionaly snow can come anytime now. ugh…The older I get the less I look foreward to snow.


  13. SFDBWV says:

    I was rereading the topic, this morning and had an abstract thought about a part of Mart’s last comments.

    “If we were preoccupied for being known for doing good-than for being right.”

    We all have known people, agencies, institutions that are known for doing good things or deeds. But will that give them eternal salvation?

    Because I think I am “right” about this matter, I can say that all the good doing in the world will not matter,fully, unless you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior.

    When I think of the subject of doing good. I wonder what are the motives that drive some people to do good things and what is considered good?

    Our government believes that it is good, to help it’s citizens recover from any natural disaster. How well do they do? Considering the official stance from our government is that God has nothing to do with it’s governing.

    Chapter 1, of a book on the subject… I guess I just want to say that it is better to be “right” about Our relationship with God, then to be anything else. God, is who makes anything or anyone holy.

    People who dress like they are trying to look holy, kinda upset me. I don’t mean wearing a nice suit and tie or for the ladies a nice dress or big hat. I mean the special attire that some wear to give the impression they are “holy” or in a “holy” profession. ( I hope I didn’t fumble that comment.)

  14. poohpity says:

    I believe it boils done to are we building up or tearing down. God created us to do good works. James said that is the result of our faith. Yet so many sit in the church to get their own needs met never to meet the needs of others. Even being “right” may at times be self motivated. Our life in Christ was to tell others about what He means to us, to lead them to salvation which it is God who brings them in. It is only God that convicts one of sin and it is only Him who is always right. We would do good to just look only to Him not to ourselves because it is His holiness that covers us. It is ALL about God.

  15. refump says:

    SFDBWV, I was out for a long walk the other day & I too was contemplating the whole motive thing. We can act “holy” or put on a garment (figurtively) that we think makes us “holy” but far too often we fail to or are afraid to examine our motives. If we did we would often trace the motive back to something selfish or ultimately self serving. Someone (Frank, I think) mentioned in another blog that motive is a matter of the heart. Can works be holy if the the motive is not? How do we obtain a holy heart? First of all examining our motives & then admitting to our Father that we do not have holy motives is the start. Then working on developing a closer relationship with the One who can change or hearts/motives & thus allow our works to be holy. PSALMS 51: 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
    17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

  16. dependent says:

    Thanks all for the intensely thought provoking posts.

    Don’t know if this is ‘kosher’ (get it? sorry) but this topic provoked a question. First my assumptions…

    Every culture seems to carry with it, no matter what the dominate religion(s) are, some deeply held symbols of what is considered holy. Be it objects, behaviors, dress, posture, etc. Christian sub-cultures have developed very distinct ‘external’ ways to denote that something or someone is holy/set apart.

    Given Jesus’ response to those Pharisees and lawyers of his day who excelled at these visible signs of holiness,
    how do we (or should we) identify simillar cultural/deeply embedded ‘holy Pharisee-like baggage’ that would presumably still displease our Lord?

  17. kaliko88 says:

    Fall is definitely starting here. The sunflowers which were rioting all over the place are starting to fade, I’ll have to start raking leaves soon, and I’ve got my first cold of the season. I had to skip church this morning, especially since I was scheduled in the nursery. Big bummer! So I hope my thoughts aren’t as fuzzy as my head is right now.

    I look at becoming holy through a metaphor of sorts. I see holiness as an indicator of how much I let Christ live in me and through me. So I look at myself as a “house” and the different parts of my life as rooms. Right now through my struggles I’m still learning to see Christ as a roommate rather than a guest. I still tend to keep Him out of certain rooms, or lock myself away in one of them. The basement is particularly messy. Someday, I hope to see Him truly, as master of the house. But it is a process and I am a slow learner.

    I try not to be concerned with being right or showing that I’m holy, though. I simply try to present the truth and relate why I believe it to be true, and The Truth. And as I learn more, I’m better able to counter falsehoods and present a clearer picture. But again, it’s a process, a lifelong one.

    Thanks refump, for quoting Psalm 51. Now I’ve got that song running through my head. :)

  18. poohpity says:

    I hope I did not confuse with “it all boils done instead of down”. I still have not mastered the english language and it is my native tongue. Go figure, LOL!! :-)

  19. diamonds says:

    Wretch-like-me, Frank, and Steve (I think)? No need to write a dissertation on the foundational truths of the Bible. My understanding of the elementary teachings of the Bible is sure. :-) Perhaps I inadequately presented them in my haste to get to my main point, or the point I was trying to make. So often my mind races ahead of my fingers. Plus, the space here is not for writing dissertations. :-) Concerning the absolutes, I was trying to say there has to be unity in the body, but concerning the non-fundamentals there should be liberty. And concerning all issues, we as Christians ought to show love. So often we are trying to ministers of rightness regarding the nonessential stuff. So much so that we fail to be the ministers of reconciliation we are called to be. There really is always something more important than being right. We have been made holy and we are all growing in holiness. I was just trying to remind us all that we should hold fast to the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us. Be blessed.

  20. poohpity says:

    Kindness is a fruit of the spirit. Remember we can either breakdown or build up. Sometimes things may not be directed to one specific person but can just be our own thoughts and the Holy Spirit will convict someone by what another says. I learned that usually when we are pointing our finger at someone we have three pointing back to us. Solomon said, “A gentle answer turns away wrath”.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    I think it is interesting that when Jesus and the Samaritan women were speaking at the well, that when the women ask about the right place of worship. Since the Samaians think it to be here in the mountains and the Jew in Jerusalem. Jesus said that there was a time coming when neither would be true.

    So it would seem that the truths are connected to time and of course, pale when compared to Jesus and more importantly our acceptence of Him.

    Ever wonder why Moses was told to remove his sandals while he was on holy ground, at the burning bush. Yet the Levite priests who were allowed to enter the holy of holies went in and out wearing their shoes. Or did they?

    diamonds, So what you are saying, is that you think, you are right.

  22. diamonds says:

    This is too funny! No, SFDBWV, I’m saying that none of us have it totally together. Not me, for sure. I am saying that I think we can all agree on the foundational truths of the Bible. And that we should live our lives from those points of agreement. God calls us to peace. To seek it; pursue it. With that said, I want to ask for forgiveness for any offenses I have caused on this blog. In particular, to my sister in Christ, DMG, who has written some wonderful insights here. Although I might not be in agreement with everything she says or how she says it (and I’m sure she could say the same), I have to take a step back and realize that it is God’s heart that I honor her. If I look at her with God’s eyes, then I see the good, the grace that she carries. And I choose to believe the best about her, as I choose also to believe about all of you. We all are just travelers on our way home. No,SFDBWV (did I get the initials right?), all I’m saying is that we all believe Jesus is coming back. Some of us believe it’s pre-trib, some mid-trib, and some post-trib, but the essential thing is that he’s coming again. Let’s not get stuck in the non-essentials.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    diamonds, My appologies, i used you to make a point and yes it was intended to be funny. I hope I did not upset you.

    This business of being right or wrong is a tough nut to crack. We all have thoughts and opinions, and for the most part we think we are correct in what we believe. Or else we would rarely say anything.

    This is what is fun about the blog. Being able to share opinions and beliefs. Of course sometimes we are going to disagree on details. Or at least it sounds or seems that we disagree. It is a casualty of comunicating in this way.

    We start with Christ as the foundation and most everyone agrees on that point. But our journey throughout the topics exposes our personalities and sometimes our misunderstandings.

    I have family and some friends who are Mormon. Because the Mormon calls themselves Christian, I hear the echo of Jesus telling His disiples not to forbid them for if they are not against us they are for us.

    Yet I disagree greatly with their doctrine. I feel I am right and they wrong. Is it important? Yes. If I didn’t believe I was correct about my beliefs, I could never evangelize at any level. I would be like the grass that blows one way then another.

    Thanks for the reply, I rarely have this much time to share. Yes it is SFDBWV or better yet, Steve

  24. diamonds says:

    Not offended at all. I am praying and working hard on not being offended. :-) I’m also going to keep working on talking to God more than you guys. Be blessed.

  25. dependent says:

    refump, I think you hit on the key: motives of the heart

    What SFDBWV wrote made me look again at Mart’s phrase:
    “…if we were preoccupied with being known for doing good– than known for being right.”

    The models of ‘holiness’ in Jesus’ day were the object of his harshest rebukes. But they were THE recognized experts in knowing and declaring what was ‘right’ according to the law of Moses (and all the subsequent) fence laws.

    But Jesus exposed their motives in light of all the ‘good’ things that they did. e.g. precise tithes, praying, giving at the temple, etc.

    They were rebuked for being preoccupied with being known for their righteous acts and knowledge. And Jesus used them as an example for ‘how not to be holy’:
    Doing the right things for the approval of man instead of the approval of God. Their motives were to direct glory to themselves and they didn’t even see it…they were blind to the fact that their hearts were hardened to the point that in their traditions of honoring God, doing right, they ended up seeking the honor of men.

    So it seems one can do right, know right, be right — but all for the wrong reason. Reflecting his glory through properly motivated righteous acts is one way we share and grow in the holiness of God.

  26. poohpity says:

    I believe we grow in the Holiness of God not by what we do but who we spend our time with. The closer one gets to God the more His holiness is reflected in how we behave. The time we give to God daily will reflect in our lives and we will be able to compare ourselves only to Jesus and realize we are on the same ground with all human beings who fall short to the Holiness of Christ. Then being right is not as important as allowing the Spirit of God to shine through us with the fruit of His Spirit.

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Good thoughts, dependent.
    Reading throughout the comments it would sound as though most have tied doing good, being right, and being set apart for the purpose of God, to matters of the heart.

    Who is found in the chambers of the Christian heart? Yes, it is the Christ, the great Iam. It turns out that if I am right it is because of Him, if I do good it is because of Him, if I am made holy…it is because of Him.

    Thanks you Mart for an opprotunity to express my love for Him, Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

  28. kaliko88 says:

    “If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” – Abraham Lincoln

  29. daisymarygoldr says:

    Great comments! Spent the whole day yesterday at a faraway farm and kept thinking of “Holiness” while picking apples, pears, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn and lady’s finger a.k.a as okra here in AZ!

    This is my conclusion about what I believe when I consider the purposes for which our God (1) sets us apart in Christ. The purpose is to “obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and then, (2) invites us to follow suite… The purpose is to “stand firm and hold fast to the traditions and instructions which were taught…”2 Thess 2: 14-15

    If something is set apart for the Lord’s purpose it automatically does not become holy. To be set apart and justified as Holy is not the end in itself but a means to prepare me for service in the age to come and that is the ultimate purpose of God. Meanwhile for now in this life, as a follower of Christ there is a certain responsibility for me to carry the name of Christ and reflect His Holy character.

    God first did His part to justify me as Holy and I must also play my part in response to His call to “be Holy”. It is one thing when God sets me apart and it is yet another thing when I chose to set apart my life for God. Numbers 6 describes something so stunningly beautiful about those men and women—who chose to “set apart” their lives for God. No, they were not Levites or priests. They were just ordinary people who stood up to dedicate and consecrate their lives to God… not to try and be Holy but to come out of the crowd and be a Nazarite—set apart for God!

    What were the characteristics of a Nazarite and how does this apply to me, a follower of Christ? First they “must give up wine and other alcoholic drinks.” It is not some legalistic rule to abstain from alcohol but this is a call to separate myself from a life consumed by the pleasures ease and comfort of this world. To not be intoxicated and be infatuated with the things of this world that will draw me away from the intimacy with God but to exercise self control and stay morally alert i.e. to “Keep sober in spirit.” (1 Peter 1:13)

    Second, they “must never cut their hair”. No legalistic rule to grow long hair but in the Hebrew culture it is a shame for a man to have long hair”. Long hair is a symbol of shame for a man and covering—submission for the woman. Following Christ requires me to bear the shame of submitting myself to His authority… not the shame of being an adulterer or a drug addict… but the shame that is associated with the name of Christ. Not only does the world considers these devoted Christians as weird but they will be also subjected to contempt and shame (Heb 13:13) even by their own that will label them as “Pharisee” or “self-righteous”, myopic or narrow-minded.

    Third, they “must not go near a dead body”. Jesus said let the dead bury their dead. It is again not about some legalistic rule that says I must not attend funerals to bury my loved ones. Separate means to be severed from “dead things” of self and this world in order to live a committed Christian life of passionate love, devotion and obedience toward God

    Separation does not mean that I live in seclusion to live like a nun or isolate myself in a Christian School or home school or hide myself behind church walls. That is to place the light of Christ under a bushel. No, it is to let my little light shine out… and not compromise with the darkness around. Jesus moved among sinners but never compromised with sin… till the end He remained sinless and pure.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    The million dollar Q is how not to be holy and be right about everything and wrong about nothing. There is no right or wrong way… it is not human holiness, it is God’s Holiness and it will always be right regardless of how it is presented. Joseph earned the wrath of his parents and jealousy of his brothers who accused him of daring to make himself superior… but God saw him through the dark pit, slavery and imprisonment to ultimately lead Joseph to serve His special purpose.

    John the Baptist was set apart for God’s special purpose. Does it mean as a Christian I will have to wear goatskin or a dress and a big hat:) and eat locusts and wild honey and go kosher:)?. No. The kingdom of God is not about raiment, food and drink. It is a commitment, it is a call, and it is to be set apart for God’s holy purposes. The Nazarite is not trying to be Holy in some legalistic way and this is certainly not to burden others with the weightier matters of the Law.

    Similarly a devoted Christian, who is inspired to live such high standards of holiness, is not aspiring for some high moral ground from which to look down and condemn others. It is not their Holiness… and their lives are to point others to God’s holiness.

    It must be understood that in their close walk with God such Christians never receive self-honor but seek to honor God and His Holiness. John the Baptist got beheaded and Jesus was killed for being “spiritually superior” to the point of equating Himself with God!

  31. daisymarygoldr says:

    So, my Q to the group here is: dare to be a Nazarite? It is certainly no fun but several years ago, in a gathering of 500 or so young kids, this handmaiden had stood up to respond to that call as a teenager. Not in my strength though. No exaggerating here but which teen in her right mind would risk being ridiculed or unpopular and not want to fit in with the rest of crowd and be cool? It was His call; it is His purpose and it is God who also imparted to me the power to obey His calling. I did have an understanding as it was not some emotional decision but honestly at that time I had no idea about what it really meant…This is not to boast and I share this here for God’s glory!

    Does it mean that I am now all perfect and Holy? No… it is a life long process that involves the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit which is accomplished only through my willingness to obey in His strength alone. After posting my first comment on this page, I will not lie about my struggles to deal with fiery arrows of “clanging cymbal” “lol” and “Kosher”. It was quite some fight to wrestle against my evil flesh. If it were not for His grace I would have easily fallen a prey to my sinful thoughts of anger and the urge to retaliate back with my choicest “biblical words”:). It is so amazing that when I yielded to the Holy Spirit, the bitterness and anger is gone and instead I am filled with lots of loving smiles:)

    Do I pat myself on the back for my obedience to remain set apart, for having successfully jumped the hoop to measure up to God’s high and Holy standards? No. Christ has already overcome everything for me and it is Christ that enables me to obey, surrender, submit and yield to remain abiding at His feet… that my dear friends is the only right thing to do… to be set apart for the Lord’s holy purposes.

    It was a busy Martha that was worried and preoccupied about “doing” many things, but only one thing is needed and Mary had chosen what is better! It was the legalistic Simon that was preoccupied with being known for doing good to the poor but it was the woman with the alabaster box that was know for being right to show “Much love”. “That’s the measure of true holiness”!:)

  32. SFDBWV says:

    I thought a Nazarite was a person whom God proclaimed as special by the visitation of an angel to the mother prior to the pregnancy and birth of the person. The announcement by the angel that the child is to be a Nazarite and also what to name the child.

    I am sorry, I did not know you could proclaim yourself to be a Nazarite by choice.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    About doing good, afcourse it is that as we are in Christ, Christ through us is doing good.
    But still, we will be suprised to see that God in no way will throw away those who have done good in their lives.
    Revelation 20:12.

  34. refump says:

    daisymarygoldr, yah, I did not get the “clanging cymbal” reference by diamonds & what it meant or why it was necessary. DMG your posts are always thought provoking. Although I don’t understand what saying sometimes, (I am not the brightest bulb in the drawer!)I read your posts with a special interest because they usually challenge me to think & rethink about what I think!! One of the comments you made was:
    John the Baptist got beheaded and Jesus was killed for being “spiritually superior” to the point of equating Himself with God!
    You have used the term spiritually superior or just superior a number of times. Could you elaborate on that a bit more as it has a superiority tone to it & I cannot wrap my arms around the a marriage of humility & superior living in harmony.

  35. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve/SFDBWV, “If any of the people, either men or women, take the special vow of a Nazarite, setting themselves apart to the Lord in a special way” Num 6:2

    The literal Nazarite in the House of Israel has a spiritual implication for all those who have been set apart in Christ for God’s purposes… i.e. for all followers of Christ who are a.k.a Christians.

    So Steve, I can proclaim myself to be a Christian by choice… right?

  36. daisymarygoldr says:

    refump, your posts have always blessed me and that is the very purpose of spurring one another in Christ to think and stay alert as we press on to our high calling in Christ!

    Both John the Baptist and Jesus who were set apart for God’s purpose, spoke and stood for God’s truth. Did either of them lack humility? Did Abel lack humility? How about the Apostles like Peter, John or Paul? Why then did they all get killed (James 5:6)?

    Righteous living is always perceived as superior by those who are offended by God’s truth. The righteous saints reflect God’s righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of man. Hence they are always deemed as superior by others who take pride in their own righteous human acts… just like Cain and the Pharisees.

    refump, it is others including you that have used the term spiritually superior or just superior. I use it here with much pain… to point out that such words have no meaning in the body of Christ because all of us are clothed with the same robe of Christ’s righteousness. So, guess it is now my turn to ask you: as a Christian why do you use these terms to accuse fellow Christians who choose to stand for God’s truths?

    The other day you mentioned about “Give me that old time religion”. Personally I have never heard that song before but I’m thinking the song means that regardless of age, generational, cultural or national differences, Christians have stood and continue to stand for God’s eternal truths that never change. So, refump, please if you may help me understand “the marriage of humility & superior living in harmony” in the following comment:

    “Let me ask you, how much time did you spend this past week reading the magazines, trade journals, newspapers, novels, market reports and other secular literature? And how much time did you spend feeding your soul on the Word? Oh, Christians, awake! You are in a race which calls for the best that is in you. What is the weight which is slowing you down in your Christian life? I may not have put my finger on your particular deposit of excess fat, but you know what it is. Ask yourself in everything you do, Does this help or hinder my spiritual life? It really isn’t hard if we are only willing to face it. What a disappointment it will be when we meet the Judge of the race and miss the crown and our Lord’s commendation. Athletes today as well as in ancient times would deny themselves everything, submit to the severest discipline in training, observe the strictest abstinence and “separation from everything” which might prevent them from being at the very peak of condition.” (De Haan, M. R. Studies in Hebrews. Page 167)

  37. dependent says:

    dmg, since I am the one who used the term ‘kosher’ I’m a bit confused as to how this became a ‘fiery dart’.

    I can assure you that my little attempt at humor wasn’t directed at anyone and wasn’t written with a hint of malice. And, apparantly not much of a hint of humor!

    I wasn’t sure if I was straying to far from the topic by posting my question, perhaps breaking this blog’s ‘laws/rules” of acceptable norms–being ‘kosher’ (as commonly used colloquially).

    So for what its worth, no fiery ‘kosher’ arrow was launched from here–but I’am sorry that you somehow perceived it that way and struggled with it.

    Obviously lots to learn about each other here, but this unfounded assumption about my motives….combined with your earlier assertion that you are ‘hated’ by some here, seems a bit…well…unhealthy.

    I enjoy reading your posts because they do indeed make me think. But it’s clear we can all employ a larger dose of that “love believes the best” and “isn’t easily offended” brand of fellowship here.

    nuff said..

  38. poohpity says:

    I know sad isn’t it and I do it too!

  39. SFDBWV says:

    Daisy, Thank you for the information. I was errant in remembering Hebrew law and customs.

    The explanation that you have taken upon yourself such a weight, explains a great deal to me about you.

    I cannot see how it is possible for you to succede in taking such a vow, but I must believe you are doing your best to do so.

    For me, Daisy, being Christian means that I believe that Jesus succeded in fulfilling all the laws of the old tesiment and that He and only He was able to do so.

    That for me to try and copy that which Christ already accomplished, is unessesary.

    The Holy Spirit in me will convict me of any errant activities I may undertake, and through that same Spirit I will be able to cease from continuing it. Not through any power of my own will, but through the power of Him who is in me.

    I call myself Christian because I believe in and on Jesus of Nazateth to be who He said he is. I follow Him, I am not Him. I may strive to be like Him, but I can never be Him.

    Don’t be offended Daisy. I feel bad for you. Underneath that hard exterior you present yourself with is a normal person just like all the rest of us, warts and all. Jesus can set you free of trying to be perfect, if you let Him.

  40. foreverblessed says:

    To add to DMG note that she is a Nazarene,

    Sometimes God asks special things from a christian.
    Do you know the story of Rees Howell? He was a minister involved in the Revival in Whales GB, a hundred years ago.
    During World War 2 he was called bij God with 120 people to start to pray about the deliverance of Europe from Hitler. They were told not te drink alcohol anymore during that time. And praying they were together.
    Their prayer did have a great impact on the D Day invasion, and the fight which followed.
    Just a thought about these special commitments God can ask you to do.

  41. refump says:

    DMG, Thanks for the response about the superior issue. In response to your question to me, “as a Christian why do you use these terms to accuse fellow Christians who choose to stand for God’s truths?”, I, again, am not sure what you mean by that. I don’t feel i accused anyone of anything. I am not qualified or do I have any ground to stand on to accuse anyone of anything. I apologize if I have accused anyone of anything. I just question the superior comments because all I think of when I hear the word superior is someone expressing that they are better than everyone else. Maybe I am too narrow in my thinking on this & that is why I was looking to you to help guide me to a deeper understanding. I look at superiority as sort of like the thing the disciples would often get bogged down in arguing amongst themselves who was going to have a choicest seat in heaven or who was next in command & Jesus would instruct them that the first shall be last & the last shall be first & blessed are the meek & blessed are the poor in spirit. That is what I meant by not being able to understand “the marriage of humility & superior attitudes living in harmony”. I have been involved in sports all my life & as you can see by my name on this blog I am not involved in officiating a couple of sports so I know what it means to commit to training to win an event. One of the most challenging scriptures for me comes from Paul were he writes in 1st Corinthians 9:
    24-25You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

    26-27I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

    I find myself falling miserably short but this verse tells me not to get sloppy & to press on. So that, by the grace & strength of God & His Holy Spirit, is what what I shall do. God’s blessings on each of you.

  42. poohpity says:

    Amen refump!

  43. poohpity says:

    I hope what I am about to say is taken with all the love it is intended to hold. Over many, many months now the same issue is addressed by many different people about the feeling of superiority or pride in your knowledge of scripture without the heart or grace of our Lord. The bible tells us when we see a brother/sister stumbling with sin to address that issue. Many have tried to do exactly that with the pride that exudes from the words that are written by you. We are all the same when we kneel beneath the Cross. Some are further along with scripture knowledge and some are still struggling with some truths. One can know the bible inside and out and still miss the principles contained through out those pages. It may benefit each of us to carefully and prayerfully look at the message we are presenting to others. I personally care very dearly for you and hope this is taken with all the love it is intended to bring your way but this may be something to look at in your life. I am a perfectly imperfect child Of God as we all are and we each have our struggles this may be one to consider. In love Deborah

  44. daisymarygoldr says:

    dependent, Steve, foreverblessed, refump and Deborah, I really thank God for the loving fellowship I get to enjoy here with you all! You are all much loved in the Lord… Keep posting!

  45. plumbape says:

    As scary as this sounds…., I think the Ape from Indy is finally starting to understand Daisy. (my imaginary Sunday School Teacher) I find myself agreeing with you very much…. but

    There is a difference between paper law and trial law. It is in the application of the Word and the individual blessings the Lord gave that person.

    The poor man and the oppressor have this in common;
    The Lord gave sight to both. proverbs 29:13

    You are very much loved in the Lord and any other way. Tell your husband I said he is the luckiest man on the planet!


  46. daisymarygoldr says:

    Michael, it is such a happy relief that you are starting to understand—not your Sunday school teacher but the Holy Spirit-our divine teacher, who is faithfully teaching all of us about what it means to be a follower of Christ. For a moment I almost thought this night of weeping will never end but your words have revived my hope to sense the dawn of a joyful morn… and for this I shall remain eternally grateful to God for having answered my prayers in you! Really looking forward to meeting you in Heaven someday soon and celebrate this moment with a double high five… but for now you get to be the line leader! Although you are silently participating in these discussions, I know you have been sincerely doing your homework. You are also much loved in the Lord… and in any other way:)

  47. Godmakesmeable says:

    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
    Proverbs 27:16-18

    What reason do we ever have to be offended? Not that we don’t do it, but what is our excuse?


    There are some hearts like wells, green-mossed and deep
    As ever summer saw;
    And cool their water is, – yeah, cool and sweet, –
    But you must come to draw.
    They hoard not, yet they rest in calm content,
    And not unsought will give:
    They can be quiet with their wealth unspent,
    So self-contained they live.

    And there are some like springs, that bubbling burst
    To follow dusty ways,
    And run with offered cup to quench his thirst
    Where the tired traveler strays;
    That never ask the meadows if they want
    What is their joy to give:-
    Unasked, their lives to other life they grant,
    So self-bestowed they live.

    And One is like the ocean, deep and wide,
    Wherein all waters fall;
    That girdles the wide earth, and draws the tide,
    Feeding and bearing all;
    That broods the mists, that sends the clouds abroad,
    That takes, again to give: –
    Even the great and loving heart of God,
    Whereby all love doth live.

    Caroline Spencer

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