“I will make a difference between My people and your people.” -Exodus 8:23
Isn’t this how God always works in this world? He separates the believers – His children – from the World, and then He uses His children as instruments of His glory so that the World can come to know Him through us.
We talk a lot about living a set apart life (in fact, stay tuned for a devotional study on this!). There are some segments of believers that advocate for Christians to live in isolation from the world – like the Amish – with our own schools, shops, and communities. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those that think that we should become like the world in order to convert people (think dressing and acting like your classmates to preach to them).
In John 17, Jesus explains this concept as such:
Our true home is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), but the reality is that, temporarily, we are called to reside on this Earth. We are pilgrims journeying through this life as we anticipate spending eternity with our Heavenly Father. As such, our lives should show that we are not of this world.
Yes, we still need to interact with this world – at work, school, the grocery store or in passing on the street. But we don’t have the same appearance, priorities, or interests.
It’s like walking dressed in white head to toe through a major city filled with smog, pollution, trash and the smell of hot dogs permeating the air. On the extreme, it’s like walking in white through a corral of pigs. In other words, it’s extremely difficult to keep your clothes clean and white.
That’s why we need to set boundaries and take specific efforts to maintain a set apart life – and to keep our clothes white. For example, if you know that attending that friend’s party will expose you lewdness, alcohol, or drugs, then don’t go. Even simpler, if you know that hanging out with a certain group of girls at school will surround you with gossip, petty competition, and envy, then maybe you’re better off spending more time alone or finding a new group of friends.
Similarly, if you know you’re tempted to view things on the Internet that you shouldn’t then find ways to strengthen your fortress when it comes to your weaknesses. For example, if you usually view porn at night, then put your computer or phone in a different room after a certain time. If TV is your vice, then take a fast from television, limit your daily TV intake to no more than 2 hours a day, or block the websites where you view the content.
Friends, even though we live in this world, God has called us to live set apart lives in the midst of darkness.
What tangible steps can you take today to ensure you’re keeping your “clothes” white and your life set apart?