W1D1 of the study: “Who Should I Be?”, by Mefromthenisdeout
Today’s Focus Scripture: Leviticus 19:2
In her book, “In His Image”, Jen Wilkin begins by making the point that we learn through repetition. She says, “by paying attention to what the Bible repeats, we gain an understanding of what it most wants us to learn and remember.” I can attest to the validity of this statement as I am a huge proponent of memorizing Scripture, which I have learned comes easiest if I – (a) write it down, (b) read it, and (c) repeat (say) it often. Jen, goes on to say, “We repeat what we want others to remember, and we learn what we hear repeated.” So it stands to reason that if we want to learn God’s will for our lives, or, better yet, “who He wants us to be” – we must ask the question, “Who should I be?” Then we must search the Scriptures repeatedly to find, not only the answer but the examples we are to repetitiously follow.
I love the wisdom Jen shares concerning the knowledge we gain from exploring the attributes of God in the Scripture. She recommends this second question, “How should the knowledge that God is _____________ change the way I live?”
As I mentioned in the previous post, there are many of God’s attributes that we cannot attain to, such as being infinite, self-existent, or eternal. These are traits that can only be true of God, and as Jen points out “when we strive to become like Him in any of these ways, we set ourselves up as His rival.” There are, however, a list of ten traits that we should strive toward, and they will be our focus of this study. These traits aren’t just good goals to have in life, they are the desire of God for our lives and a necessity to living the abundant life Jesus came to give us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.John 10:10
Holy, Holy, Holy
At the very top of the list is God’s holiness, which is defined in Jen’s book as “the sum of all moral excellency”, having no “moral blemish or defilement”; and “carries the ideas of being set apart, sacred, separate, of possessing utter purity of character.” No other attribute is repeated more in connection to the name of God than holiness, and it is, as Exodus 15:11 points out, what sets Him apart form all other gods. As Isaiah and countless other believers have experienced, including myself – God’s holiness is also the very thing that makes us realize just how unholy and desperate we are for Him. Read Isaiah’s response after he saw, in a vision, seraphs standing over him, covering their faces and calling to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!” He goes on to describe how powerful the vision was – to the point that the door frames shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
However, it’s Isaiah’s ultimate response that will help us understand the powerful effect of what even a glimpse of God’s true holiness can do to us. Following the first part of the vision Isaiah confesses how his own unholiness had been exposed by God’s holiness. It made him realize the very depth of his sin and the understanding that he, like us, deserved to die. Except for His grace and mercy we would have died but instead God made a way for His people to be holy just as He is Holy. Perhaps the greatest beauty is seen in the outcome of his vision following the confession of his sin. He describes it like this – “then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Look, this coal has touched your lips. Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven.”
God’s will is not hidden from our eyes, it is made evident throughout His Word, which makes clear that we are to be Holy, and the extent to which He went to make our holiness possible. Jen writes it this way, “Holiness permeates the entire Christian calling. It lies at the very center of the gospel. We are not merely saved from depravity; we are saved to holiness. Conversion entails consecration” [to be made holy].”
My Response to God’s Word
Father, thank You for Your Word and holiness that both exposes our sin and gives us hope of your redemption and cleansing power. Thank You for not just calling us to holiness but equipping us to that end. May we never lose sight of the depth of our sin so that we never lose sight of the depth of your mercy, love, and grace.
NOTE: Borrowing from the format of “In His Image”, at the end of each chapter you will find verses, questions, and a prayer prompt to help you remember and apply what you have read. Consider keeping a journal in which you copy or paraphrase each of the verses for meditation, noting what each adds to your understanding of the attribute covered in the chapter. Then journal your answers to the questions, as well as a prayer of response.
Verses for Meditation
- Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26
- Job 34:10
- Isaiah 47:4
- Habakkuk 1:13
- Matthew 5:48
- 1Corinthians 1:30
- Hebrews 10:10; 12:14
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3,7
- 1 Pet. 1:14–16
Questions for Reflection
1. How have you regarded God’s will for your life primarily as “What to do” versus “Who to be”? Think of a current key decision you are facing. Are your prayer requests limited to specific outcomes? Do your prayers exclude a simple request to be sanctified (made holy)? How might you change your prayers about that key decision?
2. Describe a time in your life when you experienced an acute awareness of sin. What was the cause of your awareness? What was the result?
3. Think of the holiest person you have ever known. What was his or her motive for right behavior?
4. How should a desire to grow in holiness impact our relationship with God positively? How should it impact our relationships with others positively? Give a specific example of each.
Write a prayer to God asking him to show you your sin in contrast to his holiness. Ask him to build in you a hatred for all things unholy, so that you can better reflect his true nature. Thank him that you have been made positionally holy in
*all quotes are by Jen Wilkin as found in the book, “In His Image“
You’re going to want this book for yourself. Visit the link to sample and/or buy