14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
Responding to Holiness
This wasn't the first time a servant of the Most High God was told that he had to make adjustments to his appearance and response because he stood on holy ground. Joshua was mentored well. Moses and Aaron, Kaleb and Miriam, had provided great examples of the right and the wrong ways to respond to God. He had learned that it was OK to question for clarification, but when faced with the reality of holiness, obedience was the only response.
The call to holiness requires more of us than just showing up at church on Sunday. Holiness requires changes outwardly and inwardly. It's true, we come just as we are to Christ, but as we submit to Him as Lord, there has to be changes. And some of those changes can be as simple as how we approach Him.
Holiness requires humbleness. You have to deny yourself in the presence of holiness. You can't be concerned about what you look like but in fact should be consumed with what or Whom you're beholding. It's not a response you offer...it's a demand. The only proper response is quick obedience.
The Holy Spirit through Peter, reminded us to be holy because God is holy (I Peter 5:16). So, Sis. Stephanie, what is holiness? To be holy is to be set aside for sacred use.
Child of God,by accepting Christ as Savior, you became 'set aside for holy use.' You became part of a royal priesthood, an holy nation (I Peter 2:9). But our charge is to keep ourselves holy.
This charge doesn't mean to remove ourselves from the world, but to function like the ambassadors that we are. In this world, but clearly and openly representing the Kingdom of God. The now deceased Bible scholar, J. Vernon McGee described holiness is to the soul as health is to the body. It's what defines us as strong in the Spirit of the Lord. And as health comes from proper diet and exercise and living well, holiness comes from feasting on the Word of God, exercising in our calling, living a life that is not ashamed of Jesus the Christ, following after the Spirit.
In the presence of Christ, holiness is the order of the day. Before the rejoicing, before coming in to the courts with praise and thanksgiving, take off your shoes. You're on holy ground. Respond obediently and then you can rejoice in freedom.
I Peter 1:13-1613 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Peace and holiness.
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Alton Watkins, Pastor