"For I am the Lord your God. You must consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy...For I, the Lord, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy." Leviticus 11:44-45
Consecrate yourselves and be holy. My name, Lisa, means consecrated to God. Set apart for God.
Growing up I never felt like I fit in properly. I always felt separate from the crowd. I really wanted to be part of the crowd. I really wanted to be the one in the crowd that people wanted to befriend the most. I hated the feeling of being different.
Yet God not only called me to be different, He named me as one set apart for His purpose. He called me to live apart from the crowd and into Him.
As I have grown, I have come to see being set apart, consecrated as a blessing...not a curse. I've begun to see it as a privilege...not a burden. Being me is a freedom...not a punishment.
The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt, the land of slavery, so He could be their God. He has rescued me from "the crowd" so He can be my God. So the other competing gods in my life can give way to the One True God. So I can be free to be the me He created me to be instead of a slave to the me the world says I should be. He set me apart from my captivity so I could belong to Him. So I could worship Him. So I would be holy. So I would cry, "Holy, holy, holy!"
Today when I read these verses, I saw something a little differently. I saw the words "You must be holy..." I've always seen this as a command. The law. Today I received it as gift. God is giving us holiness because He is holy.
When we are plucked from the crowd and adopted into His family, we become holy simply because He is. When we choose to live a life set apart, we receive the gift of holiness. Belonging to God makes us holy. He changes who we are. In Him.
The Israelites had to perform rites, participate in purification and offer sacrifices to consecrate themselves. The entire book of Leviticus speaks of the process of atonement. Praise God for the free gift of atonement through Jesus' death and resurrection. All we have to do is choose.
The choice is in being set apart. The blessing is in being holy simply by being God's people.
The choice is mine. The choice is yours. Will you consecrate yourself today by receiving the gift of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ?