From Praying the Names of God Week Eleven, Day Three
The title "Holy One of Israel" emphasizes God's uniqueness, otherness, and mystery as well as his call to his people to become holy as he is. The Israelites were to be set apart for God, devoted to his service, and committed to honoring his character by reflecting it in all their relationships. In the New Testament Jesus was recognized as the Holy One of God by demons who were threatened by his power and purity. As believers, we are called to reflect the character of Christ, to be holy even as he is holy.
When you pray to the Holy One of Israel, you are praying to the God whose holiness not only encompasses his sepration from evil, but his power, knowledge, justice ,mercy, goodness, and love.
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" (Leviticus 19:1-2).
PRAYING THE NAME
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them:‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" (Leviticus 19:1)
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Reflect On: Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-18
Praise God: For being generous, honest, truthful, just, and loving.
Offer Thanks: That God has given us in Christ the power to become holy.
Confess: Any tolerance of habitual sin in your life.
Ask God: To help you see the value of living a holy life.
In the first book of C. S. Lewis's classic Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion Aslan gathers around him a solemn circle of animals in the new world of Narnia. Two children watch the proceedings from a distance:
The Lion opened his mouth, but no sound came from it; he was breathing out, a long warm breath; it seemed to sway all the beasts as the wind sways a line of trees. Far overhead from beyond the veil of blue sky which hid them the stars sang again; a pure, cold, difficult music. Then there came a swift flash like fire (but it burnt nobody) either from the sky or from the Lion itself, and every drop of blood tingled in the children's bodies, and the deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying:
"Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak."...
Out of the trees wild people stepped forth... And all these and all the beasts and birds in their different voices, low or high or thick or clear, replied:
"Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak. We know."...
"Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."
This picture of the newly awakened animals of Narnia is evocative of other awakenings, particularly the spiritual awakening that occurs when we come into a personal relationship with Christ. Suddenly the world has changed. We begin to love, think, know, and speak in ways we never did before. Our former notions about life disintegrate in the face of our experience of God. His attractions are so powerful that we are willing to forsake everything in order to live for him. We want to be holy because we know that to be holy is to be like him and to be near him.
But sometimes we drift. Pleasure entices us. Troubles mount. Sin calls. The world beckons. We wonder why our hearts seem empty and cold. What happened to the zeal we had? What happened to our desire to live an extraordinary life? Why are we sliding back into old habits and patterns? These may be questions the Holy Spirit is urging us to consider. Perhaps he is right now shaking us awake from our spiritual torpor, reminding us that without holiness no one will see the Lord (see Hebrews 12:14). Today let us ask God to help us live out our faith with passionate commitment, fueled by a hunger for holiness that reflects our love of God and his greater love for us. Let us pray earnestly and eagerly for the grace to be fully awake to God's life within us.