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Holy Ground
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Whatever happened to holiness? That may sound like a strange question to you. But, then, maybe it doesn’t sound strange at all. Maybe you, like me, have wondered that very thing.

First, what is holiness? Webster’s dictionary defines the word holy as:  set apart to the service of God; absolute adoration and reverence; spiritually pure; evoking veneration or awe. So, according to the dictionary, holiness is something extraordinarily spiritual that brings about a sense of respect beyond a human to human experience.

The Bible has 544 passages containing the word holy. Taking just a quick scan, the context which accompanies the word is always one of heightened spirituality. A holy place is a place that accommodates a heightened presence of God. A holy person is one who is allowing a heightened spiritual growth to be manifested by Jesus in his or her life. A holy people is a group that does not accept a generic acknowledgement of God in their lives, but rather embraces a heightened calling (and answering) of God’s own voice.

When Moses approached God’s presence at the burning bush, God told him to take off his shoes because he was walking on holy ground. When God set up the sanctuary, he distinguished between a holy place (room) and a most holy place. So, even among holy places, there are apparently degrees of holiness. We also see throughout the Old Testament just how serious God was about treating holy things as holy things. Sometimes even death occurred if something that God had made holy was treated with irreverence.

Spend Time Every Day

So, what does God expect from us when it comes to holiness? He tells us in 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  God expects us to take on this trait. God is holy, and in order to belong to God, we must also be holy. But how?  Even the angels, who truly are holy, fold their wings in the presence of Jesus. If they, in their perfection, are humbled before him, what chance do we have of becoming holy? It would seem that our only hope of this is by spending time on holy ground. If we approach daily the throne of God, humble and bowed, we will be dwelling on holy ground.  We must also spend time every day at the foot of the cross. The key word here is “foot.” The bottom.  In the shadow of our Savior. This is where the blood of our Redeemer puddles. This is the grace place. This is holy ground. And holy ground is where transformation takes place.

Is it any wonder God is so clear and even stern when it comes to holiness? Why wouldn’t he be? Without true holiness, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit might escape us, and God can’t stand for that. Holiness can happen in church, it can happen at school, it can happen in the shower. Holiness happens when we humble ourselves and forget who we are long enough to catch a glimpse of who Jesus is. Holiness is emptying our being of self and asking God to fill that huge remaining space with the transforming character of Jesus.

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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