What does it mean for God’s name to be holy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Hallowed is simply a way to refer to something as holy, and holiness is something we have lost sight of. In our world today, the question “Is nothing sacred?” is entirely relevant. Most people today seem to live just for the next pleasure high, and that doesn’t necessarily mean drugs, though it can. Casual sex is all too often and apps like tinder can exist to pretty much just give a hook-up to someone.
Sometimes I look at our society and wonder what people think is worth living for. What is the true greatest good in our lives? For we Christians, we would say it’s the goal to see God one day, but while we say that, we often live like the greatest good is something else, myself included.
Holiness refers to something being set apart. It’s not just something common and normal. It’s to be reserved for a specific usage and time. God’s holiness means He is set apart from creation and refers to His goodness and purity. He is unique.
We can honor His name best by how we live our own lives. Do we live lives of service and gratitude to Him? Do we seek to love our neighbor as ourselves? Do we seek to do good to those around us even when they wrong us?
Also, do we treat God way too flippantly. Do we seek to speak for Him when we have no business doing so? I think about this when I hear so many people convinced that God is speaking to them. God gets treated in a casual manner. I don’t really care for John MacArthur, but I think he was 100% right when he talked about the guy who told him that God talks to him every morning while he’s shaving and MacArthur asked “Do you still keep shaving?”
My wife and I attend Celebrate Recovery together and normally, you introduce yourself as a faithful believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t say that. I try to remind myself of something else with my introduction and say “Servant of King Jesus.” Jesus is a friend for sure, but He is not just any friend. If you were friends with the president, regardless of what you think of him and if you don’t like Trump replace him with someone you do like, you would not treat that friendship casually. You would treat the president still with the utmost of respect.
Clay Jones in his latest book Immortal argues that one of the reasons we might not have such a Christian drive in our country is we have lost sight of what happens when we die. We try to not think about the fact that one day all of us will. When we lose sight of that, we also lose sight of the fact that we will be judged.
Think about that. You will give an account for every deed that you do. Really think about it.
So what have you done? Did you get snippy with your wife? Were you berating your husband? Did you scare the kids by being harsher than you should have been? Did you give your neighbor the cold shoulder? Did you rejoice over the suffering of a personal enemy?
Most of our sins against God are not directly done against God. They’re done against His creation, mainly other people. Jesus tells us this in His parable of the sheep and the goats. C.S. Lewis reminded us that we have never met a normal person. Every person we meet will one day either be a creature we would be tempted to bow down before and worship, or a creature that would come out of our nightmares.
And a lot of this starts with a low view of God. If God is treated casually, then we are missing out on Him. Most Christians don’t have a clue about the Trinity, for example, and what a difference that should make to our lives. God is really no different than Zeus to most of us. He’s just a superpowered human being.
Seeing God as holy will require a revolution in our thinking about God. We will need to take doctrine seriously and our own holiness seriously. We will need to seek to banish evil not just from the world around us, but from our very selves. Fair wager here, but I suspect most of us spend more time complaining about the evil of others around us than the evil within us. To refer to Lewis again, he said that we often seek to excuse our sins, but not the sins of others. When we sin, that is different, but the other person? They really ought to know better!
If we are going to be Christians who say Jesus is #1, our lives had better be different. Our marriages had better be different. Our parenting should be different. Our job performance should be different. Our entertainment should be different. Everything. We should be different people because we serve a God who is really different from everything else.