15 But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”1 Peter 1:15-16, NKJV
Why does God call us to be holy? Is it even possible? In the Old Testament, the primary Hebrew word for holy or holiness is qodesh, which means something that is set apart, separate, or sacred. Fundamentally, holiness is separating or cutting yourself off from something that is unclean, and consecrating your life to what is pure.
How We Approach God Matters
Take, for example, the sons of Aaron—Nadab and Abihu. These two men were priests in the Tabernacle of God. They were trained on how to perform all offerings before God in the proper way. But, in Leviticus 10:1–7, we learn that they offered “profane fire” before the Lord, which God had not commanded them to do. The result was that God killed both men. Why? Leviticus 10:3 gives us the answer:
“This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy. And before all the people, I must be glorified.’”Leviticus 10:3, NKJV
Nadab and Abihu tried to worship God their way, not His way, and thereby profaned His name. What made their offering profane? Were they drunk? Did they not purify themselves before entering the Tabernacle? There is more to this story I will touch on later, but for now, observe the final part of this verse: “Before all the people, I must be glorified.”
Our behaviour, must be guided by one thought uppermost in our minds: God must be glorified. The first step toward practising holiness, then, and your challenge for the week is this: before you speak, before you act, before you react to a situation, ask yourself one question: “Will God be glorified?” It won’t be easy. I’ve been trying to do this for a while, but when you have a Type A personality like mine, you tend to blurt things out first before thinking. I’m hoping to change that.
How will your behaviour change with this one question on your mind throughout the week? How will your language or thought process change? When we consciously put God first in all our thoughts and ways, wonderful things begin to happen. And the result? God is glorified!