HOLEY, WHOLLY, HOLY
We are holey. The truth is that we have a lot more in common with Swiss cheese than we might like to admit. No offense to Swiss cheese.
HOLEY – As one of my previous blogs outlined, we were created incomplete – with spiritual empty space to be filled by the Holy Spirit. But it doesn’t end there. For example: Adam was created to need a “help meet” – a partner, suitable for him. God didn’t create Adam and then say, “Oops, he is missing a part.” No, God knew Adam was incomplete when alone and God had a plan to fill that empty space with the marriage relationship.
Without God, our human reasoning is full of holes as well. Only a relationship with God can give us the will and ability to choose love instead of hate or the wisdom to choose the right path at every turn and to submit ourselves to His will when human reasoning would seem to lead us a different way.
Without God, we have missing pieces in trying to figure out the puzzle that is human life. Only a relationship with God can fill in the mysteries of life and answer the question “why do we exist?”
Jesus died for each of us when we were in the holey state. He did not die so we can keep the holes.
I’ve had some small skin cancers. When the doctor cuts them out, it leaves a hole. Unless it is very deep and needs stitches, the hole is usually filled in over time by the growth of new skin. However, when the removal is even more radical than that because the cancer is deep, a skin graft is necessary to fill in the hole.
I think of sin as a deep skin cancer. I am a visual person. So, when I ask God to remove my sins and forgive me, I picture Him cutting out the rotten cancer of sin. I always ask Him to graft in His nature, to graft His spirit into that hole. To me, it is the fastest way to change – the fastest way to heal the rottenness that is human nature and sin. I feel like a patchwork quilt that is a mix of God’s nature and mine, but, I am deliberately and purposefully gaining more of Him each day.
So, we are holey. That’s a fact. However, we know that we need to become holy. So, how does that work? Well, that is where “wholly” comes into the picture.
WHOLLY – The process of moving from holey to holy is to give ourselves wholly to Him. When God is our “all in all,” when we begin every day by devoting it to His service and end each day committed to doing it again tomorrow, we know we are given wholly to Him. When we bring every thought to into obedience to Him [2 Corin. 10:5]; when we never take a trip or engage in a service project without saying, “if the Lord will…” [James 4:13-16], we know that we are living wholly devoted to Him.
The Psalms talk a lot about doing things whole heartedly. Psalm 119:2 “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart.” Psalm 119:58 “I entreated Your favor with my whole heart.” Psalm 119:145 “I cry out with my whole heart.” Psalm 138:1 “I will praise You with my whole heart.” This whole-heartedness is what Jesus was speaking about when He gave His answer about the greatest commandment, “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” [Mark 12:30] That is what being wholly devoted to God looks like – that kind of all-in love Jesus outlined.
Our labor to go from holey to holy is not in vain [1 Corin. 15: 58]. There is a change coming.
HOLY – Right now, God’s people are part of the “holy temple” as outlined in Ephesians 2:21. We are His holy people – as were the Israelites of old [Exodus 22:31]. Jesus makes us holy through His blood [Hebrews 13:12]. This holiness is because of the connection to Him, in a similar way that all the components of the temple build by Israel were made holy by His presence or because they were dedicated to Him. The parts of the temple were not holy in and of themselves and neither are we. It is our connection to Him that makes us holy and as soon as I step away, if I step away, I am no longer holy because I am no longer connected to Him.
But, and here is the most exciting part, at the resurrection, all those connections built by our lifetime of relationship with Him, by wholly devoting our thoughts, words and deeds – our lives – to Him, results in a complete transformation.
1 John 3:2 says, “…but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” We will be made entirely of the Holy Spirit – the essence of God that can only dwell in us now. Like Pinocchio, we will have a complete transformation – changing from being an animated lifeless thing, to real life. For us, this is a change to eternal life, spirit life, holy life. We don’t need food or sleep or air. The connection to God becomes permanent because we come fully into the God family – us in Him and Him in us as Jesus spoke about in John 17:20-23 in His prayer to the Father – “I in them and You in me…”
This is the beauty of God’s plan for us. He began by creating the human race as “fixer-uppers,” knowing that we will be better for going through the work to become like Him. He took on the lion’s share of the work by creating His laws, breathing out the words of the Bible, sending Jesus as an example, instructor and sacrifice and then sending the Holy Spirit to fill up the empty places. We do our part by being wholly devoted to Him and then this:
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’”
No more corruption (no cancer of sin). No more empty holes needing to be filled. Whole (not holey) and wholly holy as spirit beings.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts too. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org