What Holiness means to me
George B. Ferguson
To say with deep sincerity and out of a pure heart, that, “I praise the Lord for wholly sanctifying my heart”, covers a multitude of expressions concerning holiness. The depth of meaning in the word “holiness” goes to the core of the individual personality; cleansing every root of our being, so that we might be fashioned in the image of God.
Holiness of heart and life wrought such a wonderful change in my life, that even I noticed the difference. No longer was there the half-sinking feeling within that God was going to require more of me than I wanted to give. The fear of the unknown requirement melted away, to be replaced by a burning desire to be used in any way, for any purpose, and at any time that God would see fit to be glorified by the life that was no longer mine, but His.
No longer did I serve God with all there was of me for the praises of men, as I had done in the past, but for the smile and approval of God alone. Men still approved and praised, but theirs was secondary to God’s smile of perfect peace. It is a smile of perfect peace after the storms of distress. There is such warmth in that smile, to stir the heart of man; that a “lion’s den” seems an appropriate place to spend the night.
Holiness took the staleness out of my life and replaced it with fresh “manna” from heaven. Each day is a new day of feasting on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky. Life still has its difficulties, its problems to be solved, its battles to be fought with the Tempter of man’s soul, but there are no clouds hiding the day-by-day, sweet fellowship of my spirit with the Spirit of God. “The clouds have been rolled away.”
Praise the Lord! The dawning of a new day with God was wrought by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. The dawning of a new day casts a new light on the world of yesterday; we shrink back in horror at its sinfulness. The fear of its touch on our lives causes a revulsion that inclines us toward God.
What does holiness mean to me? To be so absorbed by the Holy Spirit that “I become a stranger and pilgrim in this barren land.” The materialism of our age is but the “idol of a golden calf,” seeking to lead the people of God astray from the path that leads to the Promised Land. Holiness is the promised land of Canaan in this life. The promised land where the bitterness of bondage is dissolved into the sweetness of Canaan. The promised land where the bitter root of the Sin Nature is removed to allow the fresh springs of divine love to burst forth into rivers of living water.
Holiness – what a word! A word with a mighty message for our day and age. A message so broad in its scope that it included me; so deep in its depth that it cleansed even me; so wide in its sweep that it took all of me; so full in its manifestation of joy, wrought by the Holy Spirit, that it fills me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes, until my mouth is constrained to speak of the “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Oh love that knows no bounds! Joy that is limitless! Is mine! Mine! Mine!
The semantic language is so insufficient for expressing such a glorious truth, founded on the Word of God, of what holiness means to me, that my lips are formed with this prayer:
Dear Lord, though my pen and lips be feeble in word and thought, grant that my heart shall have the expression of love and desire that Hannah had as she prayed to Thee in the Temple. Grant through that unreserved love and desire, this life, that Thou hast lent to this mortal body, shall serve as a living witness, of “what holiness means to me” for Thine eternal glory. Amen!