Sunday, March 25, 2007

Holy Different 2: Faith

...Be holy because I, God, your God, am holy...” Leviticus 19.2 (MSG)
...this what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” Hebrews 11.1-2 (MSG)

last time, i couldn’t sleep because God just blew me away me with how holiness really meant “differentness” - him being holy refers to how different he is, not just being one of a kind, but him being the only one of his kind - the reason why he deserves the most wasteful and excessive devotion far above all.

now i can’t sleep again.

because not only is God holy, not only is he different, but he wants me to be holy, he wants me to be different too! he wants me to stand out, to be one of a kind, set apart, positively different in his eyes from my generation. he wants me to live life differently - like among others, when situations are hopeless, i will be filled with hope; when circumstances are favorable, i will be filled with joy, humility and respect; when opportunities to move forward by conveniently cheating comes, i will use his strength to say “no” and do the right thing. he wants me to live life differently from everything and everyone who does not respect and is not even remotely aware or would not even care less of or grossly goes against his awesome “differentness”!

but how do i do this? how do i become different the way he wants me to be different? given all the talk about living through the strength of God, having nothing impossible with him, the new man replacing the old self, living a life of victory, etc. - how do i really, practically, become that different, holy follower of God who stands out above the rest?

one word - faith.

it’s the faith of those who came before us that set them apart from their generation. it’s their faith in the one who was ultimately different that made them ultimately different too.

and it’s faith that will absolutely make me different today as well!

what is faith? it’s the ability to believe that whatever God says he will do, he will do. again - whatever he said he will do, he will do! faith is deeply knowing that God won’t quit on me, won’t bump me off, he won’t leave me hanging, he is no lunatic who just gets his kicks from standing me up. more appropriately, faith is deeply knowing that God won’t quit on himself, won’t bump himself off, he won’t leave himself hanging, he is no lunatic who just gets his kicks from standing himself up - when he says something, he’ll stand up to it, and stand up fully and majestically with all his terribly awesome Godness! not because he has to for any reason at all, but because that is his very essence! that is the basis of faith.

see, everyone can do “church stuff” with all “excellence” and “perfection” - gather with fellow believers in perfect harmony, sing, write and play songs excellently, talk to others about jesus passionately, etc - but it’s faith that strikes the difference. it’s faith that gives meaning to routine, devotion to religion, power to practicality, truth to action - faith is the engine behind everything coming from and directed towards God. faith in God gives the proper context to all matters of God, because without faith, everything would just be another noble task in a service organization dedicated to some commonly extraordinary person or devoted to some commonly extraordinary cause. it’s unholy - there’s no holiness, no differentness, nothing that sets it all apart.

that’s why faith is what catches God’s attention - it brings him so much pleasure. because then we are able to be the holy, different people that he wants us to be, just as he is different from anyone, he’s above everything - he is holy, and we are holy because he is holy.

now i can finally answer God’s call for me to be holy, because he is holy. i will be that cut above the rest, because of this faith in him that came from him.

“...Be [different] because I, God, your God, am [different]...”
“...this what [made them different from] the crowd.”

looks like it’s gonna be another sleepless night, spent in awesome wonder and terrifying respect for this ever-different God...

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