What Does Living Holy Look Like?

Gwen Smith Blog 18 Comments

When I think about the books in the Bible that encourage and inspire me, the Old Testament book of Leviticus would rank near the bottom. Not kidding. It’s a tough read.

But it’s important to approach God’s Word holistically, so I have to take the good with the bad… the easy-to-read chapters with the hard-to-get-through chapters. And I’ve found that in doing so, God reveals powerful, life-changing lessons.

Here’s a doozy He taught me recently that will change the way you approach your day.

Leviticus is a historical narrative that reveals God’s holiness in ways large and small. It’s intense. Full of complex instructions (detail upon detail, instruction upon instruction) given from God to Moses so the sins of the Israelites could be covered through a sacrificial system. So that God’s people would learn to recognize, respect and revere His power, righteousness and majesty.

The long and short of it is this, offerings were to be brought to God on behalf of the Israelites, mainly: Burnt Offerings, Grain Offerings, Fellowship Offerings, Sin Offerings and Guilt Offerings. The priests made these offerings, in strict adherence to the law established by God himself, so that the Israelites could be forgiven and restored in God’s sight.

As New Testament believers, we are free of these requirements. Jesus died on behalf of all mankind so that our sins could be forgiven, making these offerings no longer mandatory. He poured out his love and life for us in crimson sacrifice. The Bible tells us that when you and I confess our sins and place our faith in the finished work of Christ, that we are fully forgiven and restored to the heart of God.

After Moses had told his brother Aaron all that God had instructed, the Israelites gathered to worship the Lord and present their offerings according to the Lord’s instructions. (Leviticus 9) The ceremonies of sacrifice began near the Tent of Meetings and God met them there with fire.

After the sacrificial ceremony was well underway, Aaron’s sons decided to do their own thing. They stepped outside of God’s revealed will and brought offerings in a way that they wanted to.

And God consumed them with fire.

On the spot.

Struck them dead before all of the people.

Oh. My. Heart. Knowing how often I set aside God’s will for my own, I read this and struggle to process.

Following the deaths of Nadab and Abihu the Lord gave further directives to His people. The one that stopped me in my tracks was found in verse 10:

And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, “…You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.” (Leviticus 10:8-11)

Distinguish between the holy and the common.

Between the unclean and the clean.

I read this chapter and am gripped with a fresh awareness of God’s holiness. His words ring loud in my ears. These precepts are important to God, so they need to be important to me.

I’m left wondering how I can distinguish the holy from the common today.

How can I sift through the mundane and dust off the majestic in practical ways?

What would it look like for me to separate and set aside the common from the holy in my marriage and mothering, at my work place, in my friendships, on social media…?

Some answers rise in my soul as obvious. Others loom nebulous. I want all to align my street-level-life with God’s sacred will, so I turn to Him in prayer and ask Him to show me. I ask Him to help me to see the holy and the common for what it is. To choose the best. His best. I ask that He would help me to turn from the unclean toward the clean. I hand over my limited perspective, selfish intentions and stubbornness.

Pray with me?


Dear Lord,

You are holy and worthy of all praise and honor. Lead me in Your ways today. Guide me with Your Spirit to choose words, thoughts and deeds that bring you glory.

In Jesus’s Name I pray,



Quiet your heart before God for a few minutes, then ask Him to reveal the common things, behaviors, thoughts and relationships that you’ve been settling for. Make a fresh commitment to pursue holiness and ask the Holy One to lead you in the pursuit.

PAUSE to WORSHIP: Listen to this song, Holy Adonai, and center your heart and soul on God’s goodness.

Have a blessed and beautiful day with eyes wide open to the holy.



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Comments 18

  1. Anita Duda

    Thank you Gwen and God Bless You and Your family.
    You have helped me so much when I needed it most.
    I have said ALL THE PRAYERS this morning.
    Today is Sunday and i am getting ready for Church it is going to be a

    Blessed morning. Thanks to you and our lord Jesus Christ,

  2. What a beautiful devotion. God definitely deserves my best each and everyday he allows me to breath his breath, is another opportunity to please him Thank you Gwen. You always say the right things.☺

  3. Oh Gwen, you’ve been part of my journey I call my Christian walk. And I pray that God continually uses you to transform more and more lives. God bless you sister!

  4. I thank you Gwen for the word that is in your heart and you choose to share it with us. Iron sharpens iron!!! Keep letting the Lord use you. God bless you

  5. I was feeling a bit selfish and under appreciated. Once again, God speaks through a GiG and I am humbled. I am reminded of the honor it is to serve others to the Glory of God. The focus has been put back where it belongs on Him who has loved with an unconditional heart and to Him be the Glory and Honor today and every day as I move about my life, serving others. Your song was just what my heart needed, a balm to the soul and a reminder to serve Jesus with my eye upon Him alone, to give Him the praise and honor for each and every person who walks into my life and for the mundane tasks that go thankless for they being done for Him.

  6. Such a beautiful reminder that I need to clean up my act and become holy again before God. I have recently broken my engagement from my fiancee and yesterday he moved out of our apartment. I was struggling with the issues of our living situation and many more habits that we had become slaves to. Now that he is gone I am asking God to forgive and cleanse.

  7. Thank you so much for this … I need it as I’m having to make some difficult relationship decisions … I must trust Him to lead me, and as I pursue holiness His way, I believe that He will give me the strength to do what’s required … This is a new place for me and heart-wrenching, but my hope is in the Lord.

  8. 😊 Love you, Gwen. Thank you for sharing this truth today! How overwhelmed and grateful I am for Christ’s sacrifice which cleanses my sin and restores my relationship with God. These are the positive truths I wrote down to put on my mirror and claim…
    “In Christ I am Redeemed, Restored, Renewed, and Redefined for His Glory!”

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  9. What a great great devotion this morning! I have had some great wisdom and teaching shared with me on this exact topic and feel sooo blessed to have been put in this sisters path. I am learning about better boundaries; how to separate people. I drew a stick person (lol lol true story) on a piece of paper and I have 9 things of what this “stick person” looks likes. I have a circle and EVERYONE starts out in the “outer” court until they advance to the “inner” court. The way they advance is meeting those 9 things next to my “stick person”. An example of 1 or 2 of the 9 things is (1) they must love Jesus with all their heart and call Him Lord (2) they must attend a bible teaching church and church activities. And when/if they meet ALL 9 things they move to the “inner court”. Then someone who has all 9 things may advance to the “Holy of Holys”. Very few, maybe 1 or 2 women advance to there. When I look at scripture only the High Priest were allowed in the Holy of Holys right? So why do I always let people right on in where they don’t belong? Well I don’t anymore thanks to this wonderful women the Lord put in my life to teach me. And when we look at Jesus’ ministry He had 12 disciples, right? But He took only 3 with Him in very intimate times! He was cautious and had great boundaries and I needed them too but didn’t know how to put them in place. So there’s the “outer court”, “inner court” and the “Holy of Holys”. A “non- believer” never gets in the “inner court”, she is always treated as “ministry”, IF the Lord calls me to minister to her. Often times people get moved around. This has been an absolute blessing beyond blessing to me! I hope this has been helpful to all of you as well! If you want help or encouragement on this please feel free to email me at farina2362@yahoo.com

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