The song says – “HOLINESS is what I long for, HOLINESS is what I need” and I love this song. But in God’s wisdom He says – Gwendolyn, I don’t want you to long for HOLINESS and I don’t want you to need HOLINESS, but I want you to BE holy – I, God, long for HOLINESS, I long for a HOLINESS people.

HOLINESS is more than a word, right? But we wave that HOLINESS banner so freely: I go to church every Sunday; I speak in tongue more than you all; I shout and do the holy dance so that all marvel; I don’t drink and I don’t smoke; I only wear skirts that are to my ankles; I’m a member of the Church of God in Christ. But no, HOLINESS is not a denomination, HOLINESS is not the face without make-up, or the skirt dragging the floor but HOLINESS is a heartfelt cry of His people to be as He is … HOLY. HOLINESS is a way of life. We seem to have a standard of HOLINESS that varies according to us, but all throughout God’s written Word He speaks of His standard of HOLINESS. We sometimes hear that we are lowering the standard of HOLINESS but God’s standard of HOLINESS can never be lowered. We don’t have that ability and God’s Word never changes so we have to come up because the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.

I am to be set apart, righteous, dedicated, consecrated, useful, surrendered to Him, cleansed, holy because He is holy. I am to put a difference. I am to be holy in all manner of conversation, in my daily deportment, in all that I do – at church, at school, at work, at home. I am to be obedient to God’s standard of HOLINESS in my food and drink, clothing, words, actions, books and magazines that I look at and read, music and songs that I listen to and sing, thoughts, attitudes and ways. HOLINESS is a lifestyle not in just one or two areas of my life but in every area of my life.

When I was a sinner, I was a sinner. But as a saint of the most High God, I am a peculiar person. Our Pastor has a name for people like me: Square. Now, some, like my friend Sharon, who knew me when, who I grew up with, and ran with, and had fun with, might say “Oh you just don’t know that one! You might call her square but you just don’t know what I know.” But that was the old self and this is the new self, yes, the square self…and I like it like that. But what’s sad is that word seems to have a negative connotation – but I accept it, I even relish it. The word “square” seems to mean someone who doesn’t dance or even know the latest worldly dances; doesn’t know the latest slang; or the hardest drugs; or the up-to-date fads. My desire for my children is that they never taste of the world of sin. Now, I suppose that most of them have, but those that haven’t, I want them to be proud and have a testimony of being kept by God from and being saved … not necessarily being saved by God from and then kept! I want them to hold their heads up high as a statement of what my God can do with a HOLINESS child.

But regardless of our former life, our old self, when God saves and sanctifies – then the things I used to do, the places I used to go, the way I used to be…it’s not me any longer! My sister-in-law Lynn and I were talking on the phone one day. She said that it’s time out for us just coming to church, reading the scripture, singing the songs, giving the offering, hearing the Word, then returning home to act the same way we left home acting. It’s a very sad and unnecessary thing to go to hell but it’s despicable to go to hell from church. There has to be a difference between Gods HOLINESS people and the sinner coming to church to visit. But where is the difference? Where is the peculiarity? Does the visiting sinner see it? Do our children see it? Does God see it? There is a responsibility that does not stop at the door of the church. As long as no one sees, as long as no one knows, as long as no one hears, as long as no one is aware of my sin, it doesn’t exist. God sees, God knows, God hears, God is aware of and regardless of others knowledge of my sin or my disobedience - it yet stinks in God’s nostrils.

Let us make up in our minds that we are not only going to live holy but that we want to live holy and present ourselves completely to Him in HOLINESS. Live in the world but not conform to the world – not be like the world.

God has HOLINESS requirements – HOLINESS demands. II Chronicles 7:14 says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

There cannot be complacency, ease, excuses, bargaining, and dealing – You answer my prayers and then I’ll serve You. You know how we do – “God, if You just do such and such, then I’ll serve You for the rest of my days.” There cannot be expectation without regard to His Word and His will. We expect God to do what He says at the end of the scripture (hear, forgive, heal) but we disregard what God says at the beginning of the scripture (that we must first humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, and turn from all that is not like Him). We have to stop seeking His hand and truly seek His face, seek His wisdom which says…“Only if you do this which I demand of you, will I hear your heart cries and will I forgive you, and will I heal you, and I will acknowledge you to be Mine. There must be a heart change. You must obey My HOLINESS demand.”

The HOLINESS demand is stronger than a decree. It’s stronger than a call, stronger than a desire, stronger than a cry, and stronger than a command. This is a stomp-your-foot demand from God to us – A Demand For HOLINESS That Must Be Obeyed!

“Weak in my body, bombarded in my mind

Spiritually thirsting, no peace I find.

But as I stand on His Word

Study, fast, and pray

I live life in Him, and in Him I stay.

I am positioned in HOLINESS

For all provisions are from God

God desires true HOLINESS

Uncompromising, I will be that one.” ©GELT

See you next Sunday morning, if the Lord says the same and delays His coming.

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