Friday, April 15, 2005

Things I Take For Granted

With a heading like that one may think that I am going to lift up my all too deserving wife or my stellar kids for some well earned praise, but in fact I am going right to the top with this one. Going straight to God Hisself as the guy on Kevin Prosch's Palanquin says.
I share this because it has changed some of the things that would trigger a separation between God and myself as well as for the fact that it greatly encouraged someone I shared it with last night (Go Shrieker!!!). It all revolves around the word holy and what that means to me. Of course before it always meant fear and distance. It was the thing that kept God at arm's length or worse. It was the insurmountable slope of the great mount Zion upon which Father was seated and my every effort to ascend it was only met with an acknowledging nod from above. It pinned me down and averted my eyes. It killed intimacy whenever its tender bloom sought so radiant a light for nourishment. It has, though, changed significantly. The Lord has been teaching me heresy and life are intertwined.
This has proved itself out over the past two years since the Lord offered it to my fragile mind and has actually began to heal the crack in my bean wherein He shoved this nugget. It is precisely this action to which I refer. This intense desire to see me healed and whole is the key to understanding what holy really means, so you can pick up the beer and cigs for !@#$'s sake cuz I ain't goin' there. I am going where the source of all healing flows, the holiness of God.
Consider the possibilty that holiness should not be defined by its outcomes but rather the impetus of its actions. This is the same as defining faith as our saving trust and works as the outcome of that faith. We do not define our faith by our works (please read James just a little more carefully if this causes you some angst), it is simply proven by our works. So too is holiness not defined by its actions, it is simply proven by them. So if holiness is not what it does then how do we define it? The simple its-very-late-I-don't-have-much-time version is that holiness is the single minded devotion of one being for another. Now don't look at this as some simple love story, it is so much more than anything we have contrived in our own hearts. This is God's single mindedness in regards to us, or better said His single mindedness to us. I need to omit the word regards because that intimates that there are some other things on His mind and this is simply not true. There is nowhere in scripture where it implies a time where God is off doing something other than following the plan of salvation through to its conclusion. Look all you want, it just ain't there. I cannot even begin to relate to this because there is nothing and no one that I serve with this kind of devotion (yes, you're right, I don't deserve my wife, but we already know that) other than myself. This is precisely the battle of holiness in our lives, isn't it?? Getting our minds off of ourselves and onto someone else for more than 5 minutes is the huge, daily, and consuming struggle of the Christian life; or the life of the heretic (nod). Considering this definition of holiness though turns all that other crap I was taught right over on its head. God is for me in such an all consuming fashion that it is bewildering. When I fail, He seeks a way to forgive me, restore me and bless me once again (Job 33:24, Isa 59:16, & of course John 3:16) When I stumble He lifts me up. When I don't see He turns up the light. When I don't hear He heals my ears. When I am busy He waits. When I am needful He opens His storehouses. When I am oppressed He vanquishes my foes (just read Ps 18.....woah)
This is holiness. This is my Father. This is who I want to be like. What a God is He!!!

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