Where is the “Holy ground” of our time? Moses and Joshua were both told to take their shoes off because they were on holy ground. When David and Israel sought to bring back the ark of the covenant on a new cart and Uzzah, a good man, trying to do right, reached out his hand to steady the ark because an ox had stumbled, God struck him dead. He had violated the holy. God had given the people clear instruction on how to move the ark and in their zeal to bring it home they forgot the instructions, but God hadn’t forgotten. When the Israelites were at Sinai the mountain was called the “Holy Mountain”. The Tabernacle was holy and care had to be taken on who touched it and only priest could enter and only the high priest, one time a year into the most holy place. Jerusalem became the “Holy City.” The temple was a “Holy Place.” Israel was called by God a “Holy Nation” dedicated to God. But what and where is the holy ground, or holy thing today? Where is the line to be drawn between the sacred and the secular in our time?
It is amazing the change between the Old and New Testaments in this regard. Every follower of Christ now is part of a “Holy Nation” (I Peter 2:9). Every disciple of Jesus is called a priest of God serving under Jesus the great high priest after the order of Melchizedek (I Peter 2:5-9). As priest of God every Christian is challenged to “Present their bodies as a living sacrifice unto God which is your spiritual worship and don’t be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds that you may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) In Hebrews 13:13-16 there are some specific points of the kinds of offerings we are to make as God’s priest today. “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
In Ephesians 2 God led Paul to proclaim that God’s grace is the means by which all people come to him. The old wall of the law has been torn down and now those who were once far away, without God, without the covenants and without hope and now brought near through the blood of Christ. The result is that even the gentiles who were once outside are now offered full acceptance with God. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22) The holy place is God’s church and those who are part of God’s church are being built by him into the holy temple. Isn’t that amazing? Now he is building every follower of his into that temple where God dwells by the Spirit. He doesn’t dwell in some special place. There is no “Holy land.” God’s people are holy or sacred.
Far too often we allow those who think they know or understand more than the rest to tell us that we are only doing the holy, the sacred when we are in the right place doing the right thing. The holy place is the follower of Christ who has given their own body as the sacrifice to God. The result is they live as the Lord’s people every day in everything the do. Our holy or sacred work is performed every time we allow God to change who we are and how we live on our jobs, in our homes, on the ball field, in the gym, in the community or at the river or beach. God is looking for sacrifices like praise from our lips with talk and songs, our prayers and Facebook posts. He wants us to offer the sacrifice of using our means to help those in need.
I often hear people talk about coming into the presence of the Lord when we gather as Christians at the church building. I love to worship God with other Christians. It is vital to come together to build each other up according to Hebrews 10:24-25. Things like singing, giving, praying, communing and preaching God’s word are important things and should be done with joy. But God isn’t waiting for us in the church building, so that he will meet us next Sunday when we come together. His Spirit abides in us all the time and is building us every day in how we live into his holy temple. Your sacred work is to change the babies diapers, to cook, to be a godly worker on your job, to be a helpful, forgiving and compassionate neighbor and to be the salt of the earth wherever you are. The priesthood of the believers which the Bible teaches often, means that we are his priest all the time and every where we go and in all we do. We don’t go into his presence, we live in his presence. When this becomes clear, instead of becoming proud of how good we are, we become amazed at what an amazing God we serve. Offer God your whole life. He gave his for you.