05 November 2012

Thanksgiving Challenge, Days 4 & 5

 Day #4: I'm thankful that God is holy.

"And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'" (Revelation 4:8).

According to the Dictionary of Bible Themes, holiness is "The moral excellence of God that unifies his attributes and is expressed through his actions, setting him apart from all others." God is completely set apart from and different from his creation.

I think when I was growing up and I heard the phrase "God is holy," my mind immediately went to passages such as Leviticus 11:45, where God says "You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." So talking about God's holiness usually inspired guilt because I felt like I didn't measure up. (That was before I came to realize that, in sanctification as in justification, I cannot work my way to God. I can only "keep in step with the Spirit" [Galatians 5:25] and allow him to bring about change in my life.) So I usually saw statements about God's holiness in a negative light.

Recently I realized that my view of God's holiness (like my view of most things!) was all about me. The point of God's holiness isn't to beat myself up for not measuring up. The point is to be in awe and fall down and worship the One who is wholly other than anything else in my every day experience! My husband and I were talking about this the other day and he pointed out that if God were not holy, if he were not completely set apart from all things human and earthly, than it would not be right for him to demand our worship. He would be like us and unworthy of our praise. But he is not like us! And he is worthy! Praise to the One who is holy!

Day #5: I'm thankful that God guides my steps.

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). So many times in life I've made decisions that I think are leading me in a certain direction. Then, later, God uses that decision I made to take me in an entirely new direction. For example, I moved to South Carolina thinking that I was coming here to attend grad school. But God had another purpose in mind. He was bringing me here to meet my husband! I don't even pretend to understand how the seemingly dueling concepts of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility work together, but I'm so thankful to serve a God that is working out all things for my good and His glory!

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