18 May Holiness: A Glow-Up on the Inside
Holiness is not just who God is. Holiness is also the plan He has for His people. In Leviticus 19, the Lord told Israel, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (v. 2). Holiness is what God wants and what you and I need. And holiness is where you’ll find satisfaction in life. Only when you’re holy will you truly be happy.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah discovered his need for holiness during a face-to-face encounter with God: he saw the Lord high and lifted up, in the heaven of heavens, seated on the throne of all authority, power, righteousness, and judgment (see vv. 1-4). And what did he do? He cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (v. 5). Why? Because he saw the separation between Holy God and sinful man: “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (v. 5).
This is where holiness begins: with repenting of your sin and receiving the forgiveness that comes only from the precious blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for you. That’s my testimony: I was a promiscuous, marijuana-smoking bartender, but then I realized I was a sinner and gave my life to the Lord. And I became a different person. It was like a total glow-up on the inside.
Isaiah experienced this cleansing from the Lord: “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged'” (vv. 6-7).
Now, salvation is just the beginning. There is also sanctification—you becoming more holy, more and more set apart for the Lord. God wants to do that work in your life, and it’s an ongoing process. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We need this work of His in our lives.
But then there’s another step. After Isaiah was cleansed, he “heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me'” (v. 8). God wanted to use Isaiah to bring His truth to other people, and holiness was what got him ready for the call. The King of Glory can also make you clean and give you a calling for your life, but He wants you to say, “Here am I! Send me.”
Maybe today you need God’s holiness to expose your sinfulness so you can cry out, “Woe is me!” Maybe you need a burning piece of coal placed on something that happened in your past so God can cleanse you of it. Or maybe you’re chomping at the bit to hear God say, “Whom shall I send?” so you can say, “Here am I, God—send me!”
Holiness is what God wants for you. Hebrews 12:14 says that “without [holiness] no one will see the Lord.” So my prayer is that, like Isaiah, you would have an encounter with the living God that changes you forever—that you would become holy just as He is holy and find true, lasting satisfaction in His plan for your life.