Make holiness formulaic?

By Dave Henning / October 20, 2022

“It’s easy to make holiness formulaic, something achieved.  But the distinct life God desires of us is not something based on humanity’s achievement or moralism.  Instead, it emerges in the relationship between God and us.  And such a relationship requires presence: God’s presence in our lives.”- Timothy D. Willard

“Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him, and he called out his name, Yahweh.  The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh!’  The LORD!”- Exodus 34:5-6 (NLT)

In Chapter 15 (“Reclaiming Our Wonder: The Footpath of Spiritual Intimacy”) of The Beauty Chasers, Timothy Willard stresses our need to realign with God’s holiness.  Because no amount of social good brings us one iota closer to the God of creation.  For God seeks our devotion as well as our reverence.

Next, Timothy talks about what he considers the most iconic of theophanies.  That happened when God covered Mount Sinai with a storm and fire before He passed Moses.  Most significantly, God told Moses who He is.

Hence, in the Exodus account, the Hebrew term kabod translates to ‘glory.’  Thus, the glory or luminosity of God = His essence.  And that essence is weighty.  Therefore, God is altogether glorious — altogether weighty in His goodness.  Timothy explains:

“In the glory cloud, Moses encounters the radiance of God’s character and the wholeness of who He is.  In God we lack nothing.  He alone sustains us with who he is.

God communicates his utter goodness to man through symbolic notions of radiance and light.  God draws us to himself through the very real created order and the beauty within it. . . .  In drawing man to himself, God fulfills man’s desires through spiritual relationship.”

Finally, since the beginning the point has been God’s presence with His people.  And on Mount Sinai, Moses desperately desired God’s presence with Israel – and with him.

Today’s question: Do you ever find it easy to make holiness formulaic?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The religious way – God’s presence”

About the author

Dave Henning

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