- Renée Coventry
Holiness Done Wrong, Pt. 18
Yesterday we discussed how holiness is a prerequisite to seeing God, and without it, we don’t even want God to look upon us. It was a tough lesson. However, if we are going to separate from the world, how do we do it? There is a right way and a wrong way.
Separation, when done incorrectly, can produce devastating results, which include a lack of peace.
What happened when Jeroboam became King of Israel because Rehoboam, Solomon's son, refused to honor the God-given time, space, and matter of God's people? The Kingdom was divided, and war ensued between the two kingdoms throughout their reigns. In addition, Jeroboam, out of fear of losing his power (which God had given to him), separated a different place of worship, which God had not commanded him. He led the entire nation of Israel into idolatry (2 Chron. 12:15, 13:8). What happened when King David refused to honor Uriah's space as Bathsheba's husband? He divided her for his own, which led to Uriah's murder and Bathsheba and David's son's death (2 Sam. 11:23-27, 12:1-18). What happened when Adam and Eve failed to honor the boundaries God has set for them in the garden? They were exiled from Eden, the ground was cursed, and sin entered the world (Gen. 3).
What about some examples from the New Testament? Consider Ananias and Sapphira who attempted to divide their profit apart from the Holy Spirit in Acts 5. Or Herod in Acts 12, who failed to honor God’s space and give Him glory, and so died by worms. What about the rich young ruler who would not be divided from his wealth and cheated himself of a relationship with the Living God in Matthew 19:16-22. We could go on with individual examples of failing to honor the time, space, and matter we should be giving to God and honoring in others. Nothing good ever comes of being unable to separate rightly. So how is this achieved?
Hebrews 4:12-13 states, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
The Word is our plumbline. The Word is the basis by which we make every division. That's why Paul encourages Timothy to be a student of the Word, able to divide it rightly (2 Tim. 2:15). The Word can separate our psyche from that which produces life in us. What we think and feel may not necessarily bring forth the pneuma breath of God in us. The Word divides joints from marrow: what will support the whole body and what supports its structure. You can break a bone and set it, but death can ensue if you lose what is supporting the bone. The Word differentiates between these within our soul and spirit. It discerns between what we think and what's in our hearts. Sometimes our thoughts don't align with our hearts. Our minds are the primary place the enemy attack us because he wants our thoughts to invade our heart. The Word can separate the two. That's why the Word of God is our primary go-to source on all matters about a holy life. If people perceive the Word to be flawed or relative, it becomes impossible to live holy lives because we don't have objective truth by which to judge ourselves.
I can't answer for you, but my goal is to see God's face and awaken in His likeness (Ps. 17:15). That's my life verse. However, this is nothing but a pipe-dream if I do not purify and consecrate myself, living a holy life unto Him.
Holy and Gracious God, I desire to behold You. Lord, I know there is a separation that must occur that only You can do by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Yet, I also realize that there is a separation that You expect me to initiate and work towards in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Teach me, O God, to rightly divide Your Word so that I do not cause injury to my relationship with You or others. I want every division I make to be holy. Thank You, Lord, for Your infinite patience and kindness to me. Your love is amazing! Amen.
 James Strong, Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009), s.v. "see." Accessed May 17, 2021, blueletterbible.org.