Being Set Apart
God had called us to be set apart. But what does being set apart mean? How does one go about making it happen?
Being set apart requires being different, being separated. But different and separated how?
Being set apart means that you are living your life for God. You are not living the same way as you did before you dedicated your life to Him. You are now separated from the world that you were once part of.
I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 TLV
As this verse tells you, you are to present (give) yourself as a living sacrifice to God. Sacrifice is defined as the act of giving up something valued for the sake of getting something else regarded as more important or worthy. You are giving up your worldly life (which you value) for eternal life spent with God (something worth a whole lot more). The verse says you are not to be “conformed” to this world, which means you should not be in the process of becoming more like this world. Instead, you are changing to be more like Yeshua. This change, to become more holy, is called sanctification.
When you accept the sacrifice that Yeshua made for you, you begin to lead a different life because you have been changed. Your sins are forgiven, and you are in right-standing with God. As you continue in your walk with God, you work towards your sanctification (being made holy or becoming holy).
Sanctification is a process. It’s something you have to work towards. It’s something that changes you. It changes the way you think, feel and act. By the work of sanctification, God works through your life to change you. You are being transformed into a new creation, like the worm is transformed into a butterfly. You are being transformed into someone who is more like Yeshua. The “old you” is gone.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world – don’t be like the world. What does that mean? When you are being conformed to this world, it means that you are changing to be more like the world. Unfortunately, the world isn’t concerned with what will make God happy. Much of the world lives by the motto, “If it feels good, do it!”
Instead, you should make choices that cause you to be more like Yeshua. It is a choice. It doesn’t just automatically happen. Your actions and choices will determine if you are being conformed to Yeshua, or if you are being conformed to the world.
Being set apart means that we must choose not to take part in sinful activities, things that separate us from God. Being set apart means you are making a conscious decision to be different from the world.
Now flee from youthful desires; instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and shalom, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
The Bible tells us that we are to run from “youthful desires,” meaning that you are to run from the things of the world that do not please God. You are growing up spiritually. You are choosing to do things that make you holy and set apart.
When you make choices that are right in God’s eyes, do you ever notice how some people think those choices are strange? People who don’t have the same beliefs as you just don’t understand.
Do you ever feel like you just don’t fit in because of your “right” choices? That’s because you are set apart. You cannot fit in with someone who has not been set apart.
Have you ever tried to mix oil and water? No matter how hard you shake a jar that is half oil and half water, they will always separate. The oil will float to the top of the water. You are like the oil, and those of the world are like the water. You have risen to the top as you have grown to be more like Yeshua.
If your desire is to continue to be like the world and to do things that displease God, something is wrong. You have not made a true change and are not set apart. Or, you have begun to stumble and are no longer set apart. You may be able to fool those around you, but you are not fooling God. Repent and turn back towards God. Continue on the road to being made in the image of Yeshua.
You will never change the world by trying to be like it!
When you are set apart, the world will take notice. The second part of Timothy 2:22 says, “... pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and shalom ...” The world will notice these things because they are in such short supply. In Matthew 7, Yeshua said that people will be known by their fruit. The fruit that is in your life will show what is inside your heart. If you are in the process of being sanctified – made holy – the fruit you are known by will be righteousness (right standing with God), faithfulness, love and peace.
When the world sees you, what do they see? Do they see someone who is set apart? Do they see someone who is chasing after God? Do they see someone who is bearing good fruit? Or, do they see someone who is chasing after the same things that they are?
Heavenly Father, I want to be made holy. It’s hard, and, sometimes, I fail. Please forgive me and help me to live a life that is pleasing to you. Help me to bear fruit that the world will notice. Help me to be a person that inspires others to want to be more like you. Help me to be set apart and ready for your return so that I may spend eternity with you. I long to hear the words, well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)
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© 2020 Cindy Murdoch