You’ve heard religious leaders called “Your holiness.” But when we address our Heavenly Father we call Him “our holiness.” Even if that earthly leader is holy, he has no way of making us holy.
We live in a polluted world filled with alluring voices issuing calls to leave moral standards behind and join with others frolicking in the stench of offensive pools filled with short-term pleasure and long-term consequences. Everyone comes away with piles of regret.
Other voices call us to slight deviations from our desired track. A little compromise here, fudging a bit there and by the end of the day, you haven’t gone seriously off course. However, there are some spiritual backslidings that take a long time using only insignificant adjustments. It’s still a retreat from God.
It has happened to all of us. We’ve left the safety of father’s house and gone to a far country (or at least another neighborhood) and there we’ve found what we were looking for. Only it wasn’t what we were really looking for. We’d fallen for the Kool Aid and now find ourselves seriously divested of our sense of worth and hope for our future.
The old ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ doesn’t work when you don’t even have the boots to make it happen. We’re powerless until we look beyond ourselves and are drawn to our Father.
So, at some point, our pride demolished, our spiritual skin hanging loosely on our bones… we make the decision to return home. With our hearts in our throats and knees shaking we reach the end of the long driveway (or the altar in a church, or a phone call with those whose faith we’ve left.)
What we discover is that Father’s been thinking about us every day. His eyes have peered out the window through many seasons, and He offers us something amazing beyond our ability to comprehend.
It’s true that where there is sin, God must punish, the Good News of the Gospel is that where there is repentance, God must forgive! Through his own Son’s death He makes this stunning deal with us… when we place our sins and failures on his Son, He in turn pours the righteousness of Jesus into us.
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite
and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the
heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 ESV
Next week, Part 4 of “God… our —“