In my last post, I mentioned the remarkable fruit born out of my purposing to be honest with God. For the last few years, I’ve slowly but surely moved into real give-and-take with God, and last week the foundational stumblings and babblings and early awkwardness really paid off. It all started with an unexpected temper tantrum on my part.
One of the interesting things about talking to God with my whole heart is that sometimes I’m shocked by what comes out of my mouth. I’ve found myself saying things that I didn’t even know I thought, let alone really cared about – and it can be unnerving! This was one of those times. I’m not even sure what triggered it, but I found myself telling God just how little I cared about holiness or being made holy.
I reminded Him just who I was, because He must not know. I’m the one who had a sip of my Pop-pop’s beer when I was five and I loved it. Candy cigarettes were my favorite candy to play with, and I loved the smell of cigars. I loved Psalty the Psalm Book, yes, but I REALLY loved Michael Jackson and Madonna. I never met a curse word that I didn’t like. They were fun to say and funny to hear. And this is all from my life before I even turned 10! If I was meant to be holy and care about holiness, then WHY did He make me a person who loved everything that I wasn’t supposed to from the time I could walk?
Then I really got warmed up. I was ranting about how utterly boring holy things and people tended to be. I said that most descriptions of heaven made me yawn at best. Why should I care about harps and shiny white cloth and attending Sunday school for eternity? Then I told God that holiness was all about goodness and morality and sniffing out sin and working to be better than everyone else and that never appealed to me before I was born again, and I was sorry to say that it STILL didn’t appeal to me. Then I got scared by what I’d just vomited at God, and I felt sick that I was so horrible to Him, and I started to cry.
Turns out it’s not an easy thing to be a complete jerk to God once you’ve started to see Him as a real Person, so this is the usual way that my tantrums with Him end. I don’t enjoy being at odds with God. I just feel lost and grubby and horrible. I know that I’m wrong, but I can’t change my heart without Him. So I spew out my wretchedness and just wait for Him to move.
The Holy Spirit immediately told me to do a search of the word “holy.” The first entry that I came to leaped off the page: set apart by God, for God. There was a lot more of course, but this was God’s answer to me. Holiness is not haughty superiority. Any goodness in someone holy is God’s goodness. Any morality is His morality. To be made holy is simply to be made HIS. Entirely His.
Now, this might seem like a “duh!” sort of revelation, but this is one of the most personal responses that I’ve ever had from the Lord. In my heart, I was rebelling against being made holy, because I thought that it meant something that it didn’t. This was keeping me from God, plain and simple. And He brought it out into the Light so that it could be addressed. But He went further than that. I was given a glimpse of just how very PERSONAL it is to be made holy. This isn’t just a word describing a set of behaviors or general transformation. This is God Himself moving on my life, lighting up my heart and working through my mind to make me entirely His. To be made holy is the fruit of actual relationship with God Almighty.
Every day, every conversation, every prayer, every correction, every revelation, every discipline, every surrender—every interaction I have with Him is intended to set me apart for Him. God looks at me (and you) and says, “Mine.” It’s one thing to read this in the Bible or a book or concordance or something, but when the Holy Spirit lights up your whole being with this specific, personal, emotional response from the Father Himself, it’s just shocking and priceless.
And this priceless revelation of the Father’s heart as it personally concerns me is the direct fruit of purposing to be completely honest with Him. Because I’ve reached the place where I confess anything and everything, holding nothing back, there was no barrier of fear or pride to block my tantrum…or what God wanted to say to me.