Be ye separate!
We have often heard this scripture but sometimes people can hear but not understand. Lets look into being a separate people as the scripture defines it.
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 King James Version (KJV)
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Be a Separate People, Different, Unlike The World You Live In.
From the beginning of Israel, God has desired his people to be a separate people from other nations. He warned them to not worship like them, act like them and in cases not even to look like them.
God wants a peculiar people who stand out, not from pride but from following his word and learning his character.
Read Ezra 9 to get a feel of how important it was for Israel to stay separate from the other nations and be a peculiar people. It meant their entire success as a nation!
Let's look at Psalms 103: 7 He made know his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Do you see the difference in Moses and the children of Israel? Moses found God’s ways but the children of Israel only came to know his acts or doings.
How could this be? In the book of Exodus, chapter 33:13 Moses was pleading with God after the calf worship and said, “Now therefore I pray thee, if I have found favor in Thy sight, show me Thy ways, that I may know Thee”!
This was David’s prayer in Psalms 25:4 and 86:11. Is it any wonder David had a heart for God? He knew his ways!
Moses and David wanted to be acquainted with their creator. They wanted to know more than just his acts or doings. They wanted to know him!
Hosea sums this up pretty well in chapter 14:9, Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Moses had separated himself to know the ways of the Living God!
Knowing the Ways of God
When you know someone, you understand their thinking, motives, likes, dislikes, etc. This is from personal knowledge and a relationship with them. Husbands, wives, close friends. You know their ways!
A stranger or acquaintance you may see their acts or doings but you do not know them! You don’t understand what makes them do what they do or why they do it.
Israel unlike Moses did not cry out to God to know his ways!
After the law was given to the Israelites from Mount Sinai and the tabernacle was built, God came and dwelt within.
The people seemed content to have a law for the most part. Did they ever inquire about the person dwelling in the tabernacle? No, they were content to call themselves “The Chosen People” but did they ever hunger and thirst for a relationship with the God who dwelt among them? No, they never inquired about him. As long as they had the law, they were content.
Like most professing Christians of our day, they are content with the association or denominations and it’s bylaws. To hold credentials and names, credes, programs, etc. This all allows them to follow the doings of God and become content like the Israelites without ever knowing his ways.
Do they desire a personal relationship with the Living God? Do they desire to know his ways? Do they desire to know his spirit who now dwells in his children to guide, direct and give revelation of his ways?
This is the time the Apostle Paul referred to in the book of Timothy.
Timothy 4: 3-4
3, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
People would rather have the lying prophets of Baal telling them how good they are doing than a minister filled with the spirit of God speaking truth! The largest part of professing Christians are still content to be ignorant of God’s ways today. They would rather follow programs than the truth of how to know the ways God!
What does it mean to know God’s ways?
Abraham knew the ways of God! When the Lord was going to destroy Sodom, Abraham pleaded with Him knowing he would spare the city if some righteousness was found there!
Moses knew the ways of God when he was pleading for him to spare the children of Israel on Sinai! God had said he would destroy them and raise him up another people! Moses pled with him knowing his ways!
Jonah knew the ways of God! When he ran from God and tried to get away from preaching the message God had for Nineveh, he knew if Nineveh repented, God would spare them.
Remember his words in Jonah 4:2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
We have a great need to do as Moses and David did and seek to know his ways! We need to fill our hearts with this word and allow his spirit to give us understanding as he is the spirit of truth.
Separate Yourselves Unto God to Know his Ways
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Assembly at Corinth to separate themselves from fornicators (1 Corinthians 5 9-13 ). Not the fornicators of the world but the fornicators who were professing Christians.
Not only are we in need of separating ourselves from the world but from those who profess to be Christians but live as though they are still a part of this world and its sinfulness.
To separate ourselves physically from this world we would have to die. So, this separation is not to be us taken out of the world physically but to remove ourselves from fellowship with them.
Modern churches refuse to do this and allow every kind of sinful nature into their fellowship and this is why they are so worldly and seek to pleasure themselves instead of God!
If we don’t separate ourselves to know God’s ways, we are like the masses, professing Christians in name only and not in heart.
So, come out from among them and be a separate people!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.