Acts 5:9-11- “9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

I often hear people make a false assumption that God is mean in the Old Testament and loving in the New Testament. This kind of belief is founded upon not knowing God or His Word properly. God is both Holy and loving throughout the entire Bible. The same God that forgave wicked Ninevites in the Old Testament is the same God who released wrath upon Ananias and Sapphira in the New Testament. It is the lack of understanding God’s Holy nature that contributed to Ananias and Sapphira’s sin of treating the Holy Spirit with contempt.

Proverbs 9:10- “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

The fear of the Lord is not the same thing as being afraid of the boogey man hiding in your closet when you were a child. The fear of the Lord can be understood as “reverence, admonition, and deeply held respect for God.” When we understand that God is perfectly Holy and cannot tolerate sin it causes us to treat God with the honor that He deserves. Living in the fear and admonition of the Lord is the key to being able to fulfill God’s ultimate destiny for your life: Holiness.

“God has one destined end for mankind – holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.” -Oswald Chambers

Holiness is not becoming a mean religious person. Holiness is the result of living in the Presence of our Holy God. Becoming Holy is the same thing as becoming more like Jesus. If you cannot honestly say that you are more like Jesus now than you were a year ago then you have not been walking with God properly. The HOLY Spirit is the One who causes us to become more Holy through His supernatural work in our lives. In order for this to happen we have to make the choice to live a lifestyle of confession and repentance of our sin. We must become a people of genuine prayer and introspection.

Psalm 139:23-24-  23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the way everlasting.

I am inviting you today to ask God to search your heart and bring conviction to any area that is prohibiting the growth of His Holiness in you. Unless we learn to live in such a way that our hearts are continually open to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit we cannot expect His peace to be upon us. The peace of God comes when we live a life of responding to God’s pursuit of a loving relationship with us. Holiness is much more important than we often understand because the scripture declares “Without Holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).”

Prayer for today: Heavenly Father I pray that you would cleanse me of any callousness of heart. Soften my heart once again so that the conviction of Your Holy Spirit will be felt and responded to in total surrender. I want to encounter Your Holiness in a life changing way. Help me to become more like Jesus this week, and give me opportunities to show His love and share His truth with others. In Jesus name, amen.