“We are standing on holy ground . . .”
Sometimes we begin our worship singing these words, “We are standing on holy ground . . .” Have you ever thought of the seriousness of what our hearts proclaim as we come together? To sing these words and then forget the melody they made in our hearts is to rob us of the greatest joy on earth—standing in the presence of God on His holy ground.
Two people in the Bible were told by God that they were standing on holy ground. The first story we know so well. Moses saw the burning bush and went to it, only to hear the message from heaven, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Ex. 3:5). Forty years later, Joshua stood just outside of Jericho and was in the presence of the heavenly messenger. “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’ . . . ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy’” (Josh. 5:14-15). Just imagine how these men felt. Sense their awe. Sense the reverence of the moment. Do not miss His message to us in these verses.
We too stand on holy ground. Do we not sometimes acknowledge this when we sing, “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him”? Perhaps we think of Him being in heaven at the moment (for He indeed is), but there is another holy temple where He dwells. Peter described it this way, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God” (1 Pet. 2:5). The next time we assemble for worship, sense that He is here and we as His spiritual house have assembled to offer sacrifices to Him. Paul says it even more specifically, “For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:17).
As we come together this Sunday, we should realize just how holy that occasion is. We offer the sacrifices of praise to Him with our lips in our prayers and singing (Heb. 13:15). We come to His table to remember the holiness of His body and blood given for us. To fail to remember Him at such a moment is to eat and drink damnation to our souls (1 Cor. 11:29, KJV). As His word is read and taught to us, the words of Joshua should reflect our hearts, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
Standing on holy ground. That is precisely what we do each week. We have come before the Holy one and we seek His holiness because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). How sacred is that time. How reverent we should be. How focused we must be! We are in His presence. Let us remove our “shoes of irreverence” and worship Him!