“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2
That is a familiar verse often quoted in Scripture and by countless believers down through the years in exhortation and challenge to one another. To many, holiness means stained glass windows, organ music, or candles. Those things are not holiness. They are religious trappings of people trying to create an aura of holiness.
In simplest terms, holiness means “separation or to be set apart.” In Leviticus 18:2–3 God instructed His people this way: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.”
In the above passage, God declared that He is Israel’s God. Then He warned them not to “do” the “doings” of the Egyptians or the Canaanites. Obviously Egyptians and Canaanites had different customs, values, and practices, but both were unsuitable for God’s people. As I thought on this word doings I realized that it is equivalent to today’s word lifestyle. God was instructing Israel to leave the lifestyle of the Egyptians behind them and not to take on the lifestyle of the Canaanites who currently lived in the promised land. God calls upon His people to live distinctly from the world around them by higher standards and better principles.
We are called to be holy. But, in reality, how much of the “doings” of this world and society is being “done” by believers today. If you are God’s child, remember your calling to live a holy life not according to the “doings” of the world around us.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9