"Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Holy" - Crosswalk the Devotional - Feb. 23, 2012


Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Holy
Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor

“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44, NIV

Is there anyone who loves keeping a kitchen floor clean? Not I!

In fact, that is my least favorite chore around my home, and it’s the one I always save for last (and sometimes just forgo altogether . . . especially if I know that company isn’t coming around anytime soon). It seems as though just when I’ve finished vacuuming and mopping the linoleum underfoot that already I will find a speck or a spot somewhere.

Ugh! But that’s how life goes, does it not?

We live and move in our kitchens. We cook and we bake. We nuke and we toast. And some of us even indoor grill (and for the record, cleaning all the intricate cracks and crevices of my indoor grill is a very close and dislikeable runner-up to my kitchen floor).

But really, any type of action taken in our kitchens is going to yield some kind of mess that will be made. And more often than not, it will end up on the floor.

I’ve realized that no matter how often I sweep or spot-clean (in between the major moppings), that my kitchen floor is always, always going to be unclean. It just is. And I will always have to work hard to keep it as close to satisfactory and ready-for-inspection as possible.

I thought about the type of housecleaning that can be overwhelming like this as I was making my way through Leviticus this week. Now if you’ve not been to this book in the Old Testament in a while, then let me refresh your memory:  it’s about holiness. And there are all different types of rules and regulations and instructions for priests and the Israelite people on everything from offerings and sacrifices to daily living and loving one another.

Go ahead and read through a couple of chapters and maybe you will feel like I did. First, you might be discouraged. How could the Israelites and priests EVER keep all of these commandments and follow each and every step required for holiness in their lives?

And then, you might feel relieved. Thank God that he showed us in Leviticus that we desperately need a Savior and that he sent his son to atone for all of our sins. I can’t achieve holiness in and of myself. Only through the provision of God’s sinless son, Jesus Christ, am I holy, acceptable and pleasing to him.

But back to my kitchen floor . . .

I’ve realized that I could obsess over it and get out my dust pan and broom or spray here and there with all-purpose cleaner twice a day just to keep up appearances. But to what end? I will never be able to keep it perfectly and exceedingly spotless all of the time. It’s just too hard. And that’s okay. I forgive myself and my floor.

And likewise, in my pursuit of holiness—and a spotless life—because I have placed my trust in the Lord and am covered by the blood of the Lamb, I am forgiven, too. I am holy because HEis holy.

As it says in the praise chorus, “You Are My All in All” . . .
Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all

Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be holy! Thank you that our holiness is not up to us. Father, we need you and we depend on you with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. By your strength and because YOU are our all in all, we are able to live lives that are pleasing to you.

Intersecting Faith & Life: As you’re doing a little cleaning this week, remember what Christ did on the cross for you and how you have been washed so that you will be “whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:7).

Further Reading:

John 1:29, NIV

2 Cor. 12:9, NIV

Col. 2:6-7, NIV


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