Monday, July 13, 2020

What Sets You Apart?

We all feel the need and desire to be accepted. Everyone wants to feel like who they are is given the stamp of “approval” by others.

I think it’s human nature.

It can be hard for us, to feel different. To have any part of our lives that others don’t understand - or look at, as weird, strange, or even laughable.

And yet - that is what God has called us to. 

Psalm 4:3: Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.

2 Corinthians 6:17: Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you.

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

1 John 2:15-16: Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.

This very issue seems so simple, and yet it is profoundly HARD.

Not conforming or allowing our values, principles, habits, and even standards to bend to what is acceptable in society - is HARD. We have to be very intentional about recognizing what things we have allowed to slip into society’s standards, instead of God’s.

Some things are not outright wrong. They are not sinful. And yet - by partaking in them, we still cause others to think and see that we are no different than the rest of the world. Bad? Harmful? It may not seem like it - but it’s harmful to God’s kingdom, because it is damaging the very thing He has asked of us… “to be different.”

In the quest to make our churches “cool and hip”;  in the quest to still be adored by society, and in the desire to always have a good image… what have we sacrificed in the process? We have pushed aside our quest to be “holy”, our desire to be “accountable only to God”, and our ability to have wisdom and discernment about what is BEST for our lives and our walk with Him.

Things may not be outright sinful - but should they still be allowed in our lives? If we allow them in, are we “set apart” or are we just like everyone else?

There are many controversial subjects about what a Christian should and shouldn’t do. The question when considering something that isn’t clearly defined in Scripture should always be, “Will this hinder anyone from coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ?” Does it “set me apart as a believer?” We should ask that question when it comes to what we eat and drink, what we wear - everything.

The issue may seem small to you. Reading a dirty romance novel, or some other issue isn’t a salvation issue. But it may be an issue to someone else watching you. For we never know what others think or feel, or what may be a trigger issue for them, as far as something even as simple as coming to church.

There is no disputing that MORE is expected out of us. And if we take our Lord, our faith, and our salvation seriously - then we need to be intentional about what we allow in our lives.

If we don’t take it seriously, if we are not intentional about it - then we are just like everyone else. And we are not “set apart.” We are not separate, like God commands, and asks us to be.

It might be time to purge and “spring clean” our habits, our homes, and our lives. It just might be time to look for those things we don’t really need to partake or participate in. Things that pull us away from the Lord and only draw us deeper into the things of the world.

May others see HIM in us. Not because we are like them, but because we are “set apart” drawing them into our presence, and HIS.

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