The Lord desires that you would be set apart from the world and then for you to draw near to Himself. The word used in both Hebrew and Greek to be “set apart” is the same word translated to holy, consecrated, and sanctified. When you are set apart for the Lord, you are being holy.
Begin on good ground, then go for high ground. “But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones…” (1 Peter 2:9 TPT).
There are many lessons that the Lord uses to teach us to be set apart. One of the most powerful lessons we learn in the classroom of obscurity. It is where we will be isolated in our strangeness and not fit into the world around us. This world will often include our church.
Never seek to be popular with man, but to be right with God. It is in obscurity that we discover who we really are. “And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds” (Hosea 4:9 NKJV).
There are many cliques of the popular in the world, both in the secular and in the church. Sometimes you may wish you could fit in, but be thankful when you do not, for it is there you will spend more time with the Lord. The more popular with men, the less time with the Lord.
What if your lack of popularity proves you’re in the center of God’s will? “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT).
Another lesson the Lord will use to set you apart is to send you into the wilderness. He will create a circumstance that will separate you from yourself and leave you with no other choice but to be alone with Him. Never complain when your only friend happens to be the Lord Jesus Himself.
Sometimes God leaves us in a circumstance until we have learned the lesson. “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV).
There are times when I will be jealous of those who are more popular in the faith around me. We must learn to see these fleshly feelings for what they are, a spirit of pride welling up within us. The greater worry for us all is if we do not see this, for it is there the deception is certainly strongest.
The worst thing you can do to yourself is to only think of yourself. “Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil” (James 3:16 GNT).
I am thankful to live a life of obscurity as it is a safer place from which we can live out our faith. There are some who have the great challenge of mitigating their pride in the face of their popularity. May the Lord only give us the popularity that would not puff up our own pride.
Where pride rules, troubles begin. “Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NOG).
Being set apart is often equated to being separated from all that is evil. This is most certainly true, but it is only the beginning. We must learn that the Lord wants us to be set apart from anything that hinders our relationship with Him, even if they are good things.
Don’t let religion hinder your faith. You don’t need rituals between yourself and the Lord, but a relationship. The Lord says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6 NKJV).
Don’t despise any loneliness you must endure, as it is there the Lord has all your attention. Whatever the reason for your loneliness, know that the Lord has allowed it. God only works in your best interest, and it is up to you to trust Him even if you can’t see it.
God calls you to be higher and then helps you to get there. “Now may God himself, the God of peace, ·make you holy in every way [sanctify you completely/through and through]. May your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—be kept ·faultless [blameless] when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. The One who calls you is ·trustworthy [faithful], and he will ·do this [make this happen]” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 EXB).
When God gets you by yourself, He will grow you more than He can at any other time. Let the time you spend alone with Him be special, anointed, and holy. Learn to pray without ceasing, not looking for the “amen” to give you the end.
You will not walk in your anointing until you first sit in His presence. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One [you have been set apart, specially gifted and prepared by the Holy Spirit], and all of you know [the truth because He teaches us, illuminates our minds, and guards us from error]” (1 John 2:20 AMP).
God says he will lift or exalt us when we are humble. But the lifting is not like our flesh thinks, to make us higher than those around us. No, it is far more holy and special than that. He is lifting us up to Himself, up to where He is at, so that we would be blessed in His presence.
To be set apart, you have to let go. “Consecrate [set apart] yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies [sets apart] you” (Leviticus 20:7-8 NKJV).
Blessings to you,