Refreshing Prepositional (Re)Phrase

I found myself singing one of the worship songs from yesterday while I was driving today.

Holiness, Holiness is what I long for,
Holiness is what I need.
Holiness, holiness is what you want from me.*

It’s a simple song, easy to remember and a good reminder. Then my mind made a little leap that I hadn’t made with this song before.

The final line rightly stresses that God desires holiness from us (and in ensuing verses–faithfulness and righteousness). But we get a lot of reminders of what God wants from us. So many, in fact, that they can become overwhelming when we realize just how far short of holiness, faithfulness and righteousness we fall.

The leap my mind made was this: it occurred to me that the line is no less true if we change the preposition “from” to “for.” “Holiness is what you want for me.” This changes the tone so much! God doesn’t just desire holiness, faithfulness and righteousness from us because his justice or Christ’s sacrifice demands it of us. Rather, the Father desires these things for us as his children because he knows that they are what are best for us.

I’m not suggesting that we change the way we sing the song. But expanding the way we think about it might not be bad.

 

* Scott Underwood, Mercy/Vineyard Publishing

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