Pervasive Holiness: be a sponge, not a mannequin

sponge water

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

The first thing that caught my attention about this verse was the pervasive nature of holiness. It is not merely a characteristic of outward behavior, but a quality that courses through and defines one’s entire being. I am called to holiness through and through.

Holiness is not an act. Holiness is not a rule to follow. Holiness is not an outer layer. It is not something I display like a lifeless mannequin that models good clothing.

Holiness is a sense of belonging to that transforms every detail of who I am. It acknowledges that every single piece of me is rightfully His, and so imbued with purpose. It sees all of myself, every hidden corner, every silent thought, as sacred, for it is His territory.

Holiness defines the children of God, inside and out.

I also thought it was significant that this is not something accomplished by me. Every verb in the verse indicates that this is something produced in my life by the actions of another. My holiness is a result of His faithful work. He makes me holy.

I cannot bring about holiness. But as I yield to Him, every fiber of my being is swallowed up in and soaked through with it, like a sponge immersed in water. I am made holy as He is holy, and when you squeeze me, holiness spills out.

And so I will echo Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians as I look on my own life, on the lives of those walking this walk alongside me.

Holy in every way.
My whole body and spirit and soul kept blameless
God will make this happen.

Lord, may you make this true of my life. May I be defined, my body, my spirit, my whole soul, by holiness. Be faithful to do this work in me. Make me blameless, just as you see me. And help me rest confident in your faithfulness to produce what is pleasing to you, right here in the deepest parts of me.

“May He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him…”

Hebrews 13:21

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