Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4 – Being separate

For I am the Lord your God and you are to sanctify yourselves and be holy because I am holy.  (Leviticus 11:44   NET)

This passage appears in the middle of a series of laws about which foods the Israelites in the Old Testament should and should not eat.  Though these laws must have been created as a way of protecting God’s people from sickness and death by having them eat clean foods, God taught that any disobedience to them would have repercussions on their spiritual lives too.  The food the Israelites ate and the habits they practiced were different from every other culture of that age, and were a test of their faithfulness, trust and obedience to Almighty God.

Though laws about what we should and should not eat were abolished by God in the New Testament, the concept of being holy, like God, continues to be a very important test of our spiritual health.  Holiness means being separate, living by a different set of rules, living by God’s rules instead of the world’s.  And so, regardless of how the world around us acts, what society values, or what our family expects, God calls us to be different by following Him.

Isn’t it strange how the world is constantly trying to force us to blend in?  Whenever children try to be different from their classmates, peer pressure tries to force them back into line by behaving like everyone else.  Even as adults, people give us funny looks and turn their backs when we don’t curse like they do, join in the gossip at the water fountain, or appear at parties where the main attraction is getting drunk.  Though it’s hard to be different, this is exactly what God wants from us.  

No matter how big our faith is, it is useless without holiness.  So don’t feel guilty when you go against society or your family in an attempt to be holy.  Reject the fear and the urge to run with the crowd, and determine that God has all you need.  Decide that holiness is enjoyable, that it is something you want for your life. 

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