As I learn more about God, I have noticed that believers are commanded to be set apart in Christ. We are supposed to act and think differently than the world thinks. While this may cause suffering, we know that we have the ultimate reward awaiting us in heaven.
This idea of being set apart is not one of the attributes that we love as Christians. We are prone to blend in and conform to the thoughts and actions of those around us. We don’t want to go against the norm in fear of being an outcast.
For example, when other people are gossiping or talking bad about someone, we want to join in on the “fun” so we don’t feel left out. So we end up saying something bad about someone just for the sake of being apart of the “in” crowd.
But our call is to be set apart because Jesus was set apart. Jesus was distinct, separate and out of the ordinary. Therefore, being set apart is not optional.
According to the MacMlllen Dictionary, being set apart means “to make someone or something different and special. Or to keep something separate in order to use it for a particular purpose.” In this day and age when the truth about God is being blurred, we have a desperate need for people to be different.
Satan Will Do Anything to Make You Conform to the World
As you refuse to conform to the world, you may become a target for hatred. However, it is not the world who is lashing out against you, it is Satan. Through deceit and malice, Satan tries to turn everyone away from God. You are a threat to his kingdom of darkness.
“If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.” John 15:18-19.
Jesus was hated by the world but He overcame darkness, and Satan has no hold over Him. You are set apart to shine light into the darkness. Because of Jesus we no longer have anything in common with Satan but eternal life in Jesus Christ.
We are Called to Live a Life Not Conformed to the World
We are not called to blend in among the thorns but to stand out differently than the rest of the crowd. The Church as a whole has been called to be set apart and be holy as God is holy. You won’t gain approval from the world but there is a far greater award awaiting you.
“Coming to Him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God — you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5.
We are set apart to show the love of God and to live in such a way that glorifies His name. While you might look like an stranger to the world, the kingdom of heaven is extended to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and chooses to live differently. When you do, you will be accepted into the God’s family.
We are Set Apart with Intention
God calls us to be set apart with a specific purpose. He has chosen us to do His work here on earth. Through Jesus Christ, we are given an intentional purpose to fulfill God’s will for His kingdom.
“We encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12.
It requires hard work and perseverance. But you have been called out from many into fellowship with God. He is ready and willing to reveal His purpose to you.
Our conduct and behavior should be a reflection of Christ. The Spirit works within us changing our hearts so that we are markedly different than those that remain in the world.
Your choices and your actions are a reflection of your faith in Jesus Christ. I challenge you this week to step out of your comfort zone and remember that you have been given a greater purpose by the Lord to be set apart.