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Seeds of the Kingdom

Hands, Face, Space

by Malcolm Wood

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.”
1 Peter 1:15-16, NIV

In these days of mass communication, we seem to be increasingly swamped with headlines, statements, slogans, mottos and images that are all designed to grab our attention and influence us to behave, think and spend our money in a certain way. One has to admit that some of the techniques used are effective and certainly display the ingenuity and creativity of those whose job it is to produce such material.

I find that advertisements and headlines can often contain a sentence or just a few words which I can easily take and apply in a Christian context. I can turn them into everyday parables or metaphors which help me focus on the most important things.

‘Hands’, ‘face’ and ‘space’ is a good example. I have become so familiar with these words on notices over the last twelve months and know exactly what they mean and how I should be responding to them. Whenever I wash my hands, cover my face and keep some space between myself and other people I am no doubt helping to reduce the spread of the deadly virus.

If I incorporate these instructions into my daily spiritual routine, I can also help reduce the spread of the deadly pandemic of sin, so prevalent in the world today. God’s desire is for me to live a life which is holy. That is humanly speaking is impossible. But as I allow the Holy Spirit to control more of my life, that transforming work of becoming holy and more like Jesus becomes a reality.

There is much in Scripture to help, encourage and instruct us in our pursuit of holiness. James instructs his readers to draw near to God and to ‘Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded’ (James 4:8). As one of God’s people I need to make sure I keep my em>hands/em> spiritually clean by only using them for good and right purposes which will honour Him. The psalmist reminds us that only those with clean hands and a pure heart can enter God’s presence (Psalm 24:4).

Throughout the Bible it is clear that God’s desire is for an intimate relationship with His people. God’s promise is that those who seek Him with all their heart will be found by Him (Jeremiah 29:13). He promises to answer the prayers of His people if they seek His face and turn from their evil ways, (2 Chronicles 14:7).

Moses met face to face with God and afterwards his face showed it (Exodus 34:35). Oh, that we might also have a similar experience as we turn our faces from the world and turn them towards God, who has promised to shield and protect us! The psalmist encourages us with the words, ‘Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame’ (Psalm 34:5).

As I endeavour to keep my hands and hearts pure and enjoy a closer relationship with God, I need to ensure I am keeping enough space from those things of the world which would contaminate me and give the enemy a foothold in my life and try to draw me away from God.

Proverbs states, ‘The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe’ (Proverbs 16:17), and Paul’s instruction is ‘Stay away from every kind of evil’ (1Thessalonians 5:22).

So, in these difficult days, as we comply with what is being asked of us for our physical health and wellbeing, let us be on our guard to make sure we remain under the spiritual covering and protection of God. Let us daily dedicate our hands, our face and our space to Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to keep a watchful eye on those things which would spiritually contaminate what I do, what I turn my face towards and where I go. Help me to draw closer to You and enjoy all the blessings that Your protection provides. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.


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