Thoughts on Holiness

A few weeks ago, we hosted a casual-but-niceish lunch for some friends and family.  We love hosting, and I spent a few days doing what you always do before people come over: cleaning. Toys were put away, bathroom wiped down, dining room table set with my prettiest spring dishes and centerpieces.

The downstairs looked great.

Then, during the lunch, a friend of mine needed to see our {normally very picked up} bedroom. 
And I inwardly cringed {although happy to let her use what she needed to}.

There was a load of clean laundry tossed on the floor, my usually-made-bed had the covers askew, a few random coffee mugs on my night stand, my make-up from that morning scattered on the vanity. It was completely the opposite of guest-ready, and I cringed with embarrassment!


Throughout this entire year of reading through the Bible, the Holy Spirit has been impressing upon my heart over and over again the need to be holy; the need to be careful with how I live; the need to strive after holiness, to carefully follow all of the commandments.

And after my friend saw our bedroom and I inwardly cringed, promising to clean it up and show her the "real" version, my heart realized:

Are there any areas of my life that are like that hidden bedroom?

you know, the downstairs of my life looks pretty good:
we're almost always at church, I do my best to study my Bible daily, I attempt to memorize scripture and practice other patterns of spiritual growth and have the downstairs areas {the outward, very visible areas} of my life pretty picked up.

But what if a friend wanted to see that master bedroom area of my life? 
or, even worse, that random guest room closet that stuff gets tossed in?

How embarrassed would I be if a friend saw *those* areas?
The hidden habits like a way-too-critical spirit? the times I lose my patience with my kids? the service opportunities that became duty to me instead of delight?

What about those areas? How holy are they?

In 2 Samuel chapter 5, there's a small little area of David's life that he neglected, that perhaps the scrolls of scriptures had been pushed aside for a little too long.

David has a great goal - he wants to move the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. However, he chooses to ignore the very specific, very Divinely-given directions on how to move that ark and decides to forego having the Levites - the priestly tribe - carry it. He decides to ignore that closet in his life, and believe that it will all be okay.

And yet because of his sin, because of his hidden closet, his friend Uzzah dies. David's friend paid the steepest consequence one could pay for David's personal sin.

I think we tend to think that we are able to keep some areas of our lives pretty hidden. The procrastrination-turned-laziness, the envy of a friend's life, the pride in even our church service, the tv show we should've turned off a little bit sooner, the edge of unkindness in a response to a spouse...

...but those hidden areas always come out, 
and heaven forbid they have the same consequences as David's did for Uzzah.

Is there an area of your life right now that you'd be embarrassed about if someone knew? The Holy Spirit has been gently showing my heart the need to clean out those bedrooms and even the closets, and to truly strive for and work towards holiness.  And yet, even in the weight of this truth, the conviction that will come, there's so much Divine forgiveness and cleansing and healing and power found in that cleaning-out process, thanks be to God.

David's story ends on a high note. Several months later David decides to truly bring the ark back to Jerusalem. And this time?  No hidden closets are lurking.  David says, "we did not seek him according to the one but the Levites may carry the ark of God." {I Chronicles 15} And with triumphant victory, the presence of the Lord  - manifested through the ark of the covenant - is restored to Jerusalem.

I want the story of my life, too, to end on a high note. The next time a friend needs to see my master bedroom, here's hoping it'll be wiped clean, wiped clean by the progressive sanctification only found through the work of the Spirit.

I hope your master bedroom, your hidden closets, will be wiped clean, too.


Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart...