(Featured image provided by pixels.com It reminds me of how we were once caught up as prey without even realizing the bigger picture including those around us who were free in Christ producing much fruit! I’m sure the photographer wasn’t trying to capture all of that but this is what came to my mind when I saw this image 🙂 Anyway..)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
I want to take some time to talk about coming separate from this world because recently I had to come to terms with the fact that I was lukewarm. And a lot of us are lukewarm— claiming to be Christians when our lifestyles are no different from those who blatantly reject God. But before I get into coming separate from this world, I want briefly explain what I am referring to as “The world”.
When I mention the world, I am talking about the society’s system of resources, values, priorities and philosophies that are influenced by the devil. Since satan is the god of this world (according to scriptures like Matthew 4:8-10), he is the one orchestrating the ideas and moves of the people. Whether they know (or believe) it or not, those who aren’t in Christ (and Christians who aren’t abiding in the Spirit!) are being deceived (and employed!) by the devil.
We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:18-19, NLT)
Therefore, being a friend or in agreement with the ways of living AND THINKING like the world (or the cultures around us) puts us in direct opposition to God and His standards (which are clear in the bible).
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)
So what am I saying? Am I saying that we have to live like the Amish? No, because Jesus sends his disciples out into the world (John 17:6-26, Matthew 28:16-20). What I’m saying is, is that we have to repent, and stop living like we don’t know what the bible teaches!
Like I mentioned above, this is how a lot of us have deceived ourselves into believing that we are Christians when in reality we are enemies of God.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)
Since we know that coming separate isn’t literal (because again, Jesus sends us out into the world), we know that it means forsaking fellowship with unbelievers (fake Christians!) and being delivered from evil.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11, NLT)
It’s a sanctification process. This is what being holy and set apart (or separate!) is all about!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)
Just think of how many commands and directives (like women wearing head coverings to church) have been tossed out the window because we’re evolving with the culture. When we’re of the world, we think like the world. God is the same God of Israel. He’s still holy and His desires haven’t changed. If we truly want to be followers of His son Jesus Christ then we have to DENY OURSELVES and walk in righteousness. We can’t be worried about our own opinions or interpretations and social rankings.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:31-32, NLT)
So basically it all boils down to this, if you want to come separate from this world, just read your bible and with the power of the holy ghost start DOING what it says. The results are inevitable.