I am very thankful for the holiness of God. One of my favorite hymns is Holy, Holy, Holy which speaks of the holiness of our God. We were in a church recently when that hymn was sung, and as I sang it and thought about the words, one phrase in particular caught my attention. At the end of the 3rd stanza you find these words:
“Perfect in power, in love and purity.”
Later that same night I was in bed unable to sleep, and the words of that song kept running through my mind, especially that one phrase. As I began to meditate on what those words meant and think about the holiness of our God, my heart was thrilled! What exactly do those words mean to us as God’s children?
Perfect in power
Our God is perfectly powerful! In fact, He is all-powerful. There is no thing or no one on earth that can overpower our God. We don’t have to be afraid that some king will overthrow Him. We don’t need to worry about whether God can keep Satan under His thumb. God has all power, and He will never be defeated!
But what does it mean to be perfect in power? To me, that means that even though God is all powerful, He is not corrupted by that power. When humans become powerful, that generally leads to greed and corruption and cruelty. We don’t have to look very far around the world to see examples of that. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
But God is perfect in His power. He has no corruption in Him. He always does what is right. Therefore I can trust Him in every circumstance and situation. I can trust Him to know what is best for my life. I can trust my very life to Him.
Perfect in love
Our God is also perfect in love. We find God’s perfect love detailed for us in First Corinthians chapter 13. Love suffers long, is kind, does not envy others, does not vaunt itself or become puffed up. Love doesn’t behave in an unseemly way. It does not seek its own, and is not easily provoked. It does not rejoice in sin but in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. And love never ends!
God is love, and only God shows perfect love. As His children, we know that His love toward us is perfect. He is our example of the kind of love we need to have for God and for each other. But, oh how often we fall short! Yet we can always trust God to love us perfectly and to love us even when we don’t deserve it.
Perfect in purity
Our God is also perfect in purity. In other words, God is perfectly holy. There is no spot of sin anywhere in Him and there never will be. God cannot even look on sin. When I think of that fact and then look at myself, I shudder to think how far short I am when measured next to God. How could God even want me to be His child, when all my righteousness is like a filthy rag to Him?
That is why it is so important to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Now when Christ looks at me He sees not my sin, but the blood of Jesus Christ which paid for my sin, and He sees me clothed in Christ’s righteousness.
Then God says to me as His child, “Be ye holy, as I am holy.” God wants us to strive for holiness and purity in our lives. And even though we will never attain that perfect holiness in this life, we have a goal to strive for.
God cannot be controlled
All three of these things—perfect power, perfect love, perfect purity—remind me that our God cannot be put in a box like so many in the world want to do. They want a god they can control, a god that fits into their plans, and a god that lets them do whatever they want. I do not want a god that I can control.
Jehovah God, the Great I AM, the LORD God Almighty, is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He can never be put into my mold. Rather, He wants to mold me into His image. And I am OK with that!