Merriam-Webster gives us this definition for “holy”: “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness” It cites Psalm 99:9, “for the Lord our God is holy” as an example of its usage. There can really be no other example. Only God is holy, worthy of complete devotion, perfect in goodness and righteousness. Any other definition merely describes people or things in relation to God.
Consider for example the synonyms we use: devout, sacred, godly, pious, religious, saintly. All of these describe something or someone being like God in some way and to some degree. God is the ‘gold standard’ so to speak, the definition of holy.
It is because God is holy that God must be worshipped. He demands it. Not that He is egotistical, for holiness has no egotistical streak within it. Rather, God’s very nature of holiness requires that He be worshipped! Think of it like this…
A group of teachers assembled for in-service training workshop. “What do you teach?” the workshop leader asked. Various answers echoed back from the floor. “Science,” said one participant. “History,” shouted another. “Mathematics,” said a third.
“Wrong,” shouted the instructor. “You are all wrong…. You teach students.”
Well of course! If you are teacher you require students. If you are a leader, then there must be followers, or, as they say, you are just an individual going for a walk! The one requires the other.
God has a heaven of angels which worship Him, and they must. He also has people… people who have recognized that He indeed is holy… people that have been touched by His love… people who rely on Christ’s sacrifice to restore them… people who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them… transforming them… leading them… and teaching them how to worship this holy God.
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). We have the great privilege to be a worshipper. Note well, God will be worshipped. When Pharisees tried to silence Jesus’ worshipping disciples He replied “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40)
What a need we have for the Holy Spirit!