The first few words imply that the one who is singing the song, actually has a “longing” for holiness. This may be very untrue for some people who join in to sing during a worship service but definitely desire to sing with the congregation. So, I’m going to ask you a question… Do you “long” for holiness? Let me put it this way… Do you long, yearn, hanker, crave, hunger, pine, desire, thirst, for holiness? In talking about holiness, we are not just talking about a sense or feeling here. We are talking about a ‘way of being’, specifically, God’s way for us to be. Why? Because it is the way that He is and daily calls us to be more like Him, in the way we think, talk and live.
I found this explanation in Zondervan’s Dictionary of Bible Themes:
“God’s people are called to holiness, which involves being distinct from other people. In the OT,
this is seen in the command to separate from other nations and from everything that can compromise
commitment to the Lord. In the NT believers are called to distance themselves from the ways and
values of the world, which can be dishonoring to God and destructive to obedience to him.”
Leviticus chapters 17-26 has been called the “Holiness Code”. Reason being, they cover a broad spectrum of topics in regards to the regulations of holy living and holy practices. One central verse recorded in these ten chapters is found in chapter 19:1-2.
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
A holy God had created a people and made a covenant with them. Exodus 19:5-6.
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
The lives of God’s people were to reflect His own holiness as seen in the passage above from Leviticus.
The same expectation carried over into New Testament times, in the days of Jesus and of the early church. The assumption that God is holy is prevalent throughout the New Testament. The continuing recognition of who God is never fades away. Neither does God’s call to His people. Look at 1 Peter 1:15-16.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Hundreds of years later… the same God continues to call out with the same command to His people… “Be holy”. It seems to me that God’s desire for His people to be holy is very significant. Just to be considered a part of God’s people is a major privilege in and of itself. If we wish to be distinguished with the title of “children of God” or “people of God”, I believe it would benefit us greatly to begin to live up to the standard which God is calling us. To be identified by our calling. There is something very special in being one of God’s people.
1 Peter 2:9-10:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
So, do you “long” for holiness? I know God longs for it in our lives. He has chosen us, to be his representatives. May we seek to live lives of holiness, for His glory. If we don’t, how will those who don’t know the Lord know that there’s anything different. We are to be the evidence so others will know.
Remember, I’m praying for you, we’re all in this together.