Called to be Separate

This is a tough post, one that might ruffle a few feathers. It’s convicting to not only me, but likely for many of you as well.

When Paul calls us saints, he is referring to a term that means holy, or separate. To be set apart means that there must be some separation from us and the world we live in. When Jesus commanded that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), He was not referring to money as the antithesis to God, but rather the worship of money and the trappings that come with it.

But if we are honest, it really is hard to separate the believers from the rest of the world, is it not? Those of us who profess to love God and claim heaven as our true citizenship are often walking step-by-step with our non-believing neighbors. Rather than being “strangers and pilgrims on earth” (Hebrews 11:13), we also live for the passing pleasures this world has to offer.

Instead of a conversion that is supposed to remove us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His Beloved Son (Colossians 3:1), we keep one foot firmly planted in a darkened world despite Paul’s admonishment that most of us have read over and over again: “what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

If there is no separation from us and the world in which we dwell, how can we be satisfied with our sanctification process? When we place our citizenship of the country we live in before the eternal home we profess to believe in, what does that say about our priorities? Those who are so mired in the politics of this country (or any country, for that matter) seem to forget the example Christ Himself set for us 2,000 years ago.

Do we covet like the non-believers? Do we place idols in front of Christ in our hearts? Do we work so hard in life just to have the next great adult toy? Is that the purpose God has for us?

It’s a slippery slope and one I’m all too familiar with personally. One sinful behavior often leads to another, and another. As I studied through what the Scriptures say about being set apart, it made me realize just how woefully lacking I am in this area. It’s not about living a secluded life with no desire for pleasure, it’s about keeping your heart attuned to the Father in all matters: work, school, and play. It’s about looking for ways every day to glorify God through sharing your light with a lost world. It’s not withdrawing from the world, but making the most of God’s will for you while He has placed you in this world.

Make today the start of a new chapter. Consider this quote and reflect on your own daily walk:

“Men think of the world, not as a battleground but as a playground. We are not here to fight, we are here to frolic. We are not in a foreign land, we are at home. We are not getting ready to live, we are already living, and the best we can do is rid ourselves of our inhibitions and our frustrations and live this life to the full.”
~ A.W. Tozer