Holiness…Those With Chutzpah Wear White!

Holiness…
Leviticus 19:1-20:27
Isaiah 66:1-24
Ezekiel 20:2-20
1 Peter 1:13-16

Holy, Holy, Holy

Have you ever had the guts to do something that took every ounce of energy out of you to do? I mean it took all of your mind, all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength. It took everything! And when you did it, someone in the crowd whispered (though maybe you didn’t hear it) “He’s got a nerve!” Yeah, if you understand that, then you understand a little bit about holiness. Holiness requires unapologizing audacity.

God has a particular idea of what holy is. Whatever it is, it is something that describes him. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I know it means separate, but even then I’m left with a sense of inadequacy in that description. Surely there is more. I think Holy means fully converted. It means nothing left in you that resides in your old way. That makes sense about us, but how does it apply to God? Well, I think that God is saying that he is fully converted in his commitment to the plan that he created for us. He is fully committed to living/existing in this universe with company. He didn’t make alternate plans to exist without us. In short, God is saying that he is married, and there is no plan B in his rear view mirror. And he doesn’t apologize to the angels (not even to Satan) that he spared no expense to make his plan come to fruition.

When you are truly married, you no longer think about only yourself. You always consider the other person in your decisions. You act as a couple, not as an individual. Your ideas are based on how the results will affect both of you, regardless of how much you love your own ways. It’s easy to be single, and so much harder to be married. Being married is a hard life, but it is also a blessed life. I believe that God is telling us that he is sold out to the idea of sharing his world with us in it. He gave up his bachelor pad a long time ago and he isn’t going back to an existence that doesn’t have our picture framed on his desk. And God is pleased with himself about the decision he made concerning us.

How can we meet God where He is at?

I was watching a movie the other day (not a particularly great movie) that had a thought provoking moment. A man was proposing to a woman. He sat down in a chair beside her with no ring, no bended knee, no flowers. He took her hand in his own and said:

“I was trying to decide whether or not I had a right to propose to you because I have absolutely nothing to offer to you that is better than what other men can offer. But then I got to thinking. I started to think about all of the details about you. I started to wonder if anyone else could ever appreciate you the way that I do. Then I started to consider the idea of you being with someone else who doesn’t get you like I do. I realized that if you were sharing your life with someone who didn’t get you, he could make you feel less than you really are. You wouldn’t know how great you are because someone else may not see you the way that I do. And then I came to this conclusion, I decided that the one thing I have to offer you is that I can really love you. That’s a job I can do.”

Love is what we have to offer to God. Yes, we have the audacity to believe that nothing in all creation can love God the way that we can. We have the ability to offer him what he is asking for. It isn’t that we will always keep all of the laws and rules and regulations that he (himself) acknowledges. Or that even after learning them, that we would perform them with the dedication and attention that means so much more to him than it does to us. It doesn’t mean that we will always believe everything he says right when he says it, or that we will give him all of the honor, all of the praise, all of the glory, all of the time. We would be lying if we promised that we could! But it does mean that we can be loyal to the process.

Loving God is the most important lesson you will ever learn

Our loyalty to God is an acceptable offering. We are capable of loving him through loyalty. We can be in a committed learning relationship with him. We can grow old with him, and laugh with him, and share a knowing smile over perched glasses every once in awhile. Learning to love God means that we won’t wish that we could be with someone else and neglect what we have in him. It means that we won’t forget how lucky we are to be in-love with someone so real, and so committed. What it really means, is that we are capable of giving God what He truly desires. We believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. We can give him our belief, and our commitment to seek after him– and isn’t that all that anyone ever really wanted in this world? Men want respect, women want love, but both want to be found by someone.

Some would say that those who come out in white are wearing the wedding gown– perhaps. Or perhaps, by the time they come out to meet with God, they are wearing converted energy. Perhaps the conversion from the flesh has left them feeling elated, prepared, eager, and able to keep up with God. Perhaps there is no relic of turning with them, now. They are willing to go all the way, having left every false thing, that weighed them down, behind.

As we follow his lead, and learn from his ways, we become more and more acceptable with each passing day. We become energized; but not the traditional energy. It is a new kind of energy– a readiness to face the wormhole, and what is waiting for us on the other side. permanently. And so, while we are here, we strive to reach the standard; Not the standard that God requires in order to be in relationship with us, but the acceptable standard for ourselves. You see, I have a feeling that it was never about how God feels about us in our wretched condition, but about how we would feel about ourselves in a wretched position. I mean, imagine spending your whole life on making it through the wormhole, only to be disappointed with how you look on the other side. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be with somebody whom they really, really, feel that they don’t deserve. You want something good, but you want to feel like you are good too. Am I right?

And so…the whole coming out in white thing is about us. It’s about wanting to look great at the party. It’s about wanting the angels to say, “They are a great couple!” instead of, “What was He thinking…?”. After all, can you really appreciate the red carpet if you hate the way you’re dressed? I don’t think so! And any woman can tell you that only a very confident gal would don white. When they see the honorable ones, whose lives were completely converted, words will not be competent enough to describe their approval. Only one word has been created to mention the indescribable: Holy— distinct from all others; different; peculiar; occupying a class by itself; nothing that anyone had ever fathomed before: separate

“And this couple is wearing a white ensemble that was designed by…Holiness…or should I say…Chutzpah!”

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