Making choices to be more set apart

It's a Godly and honourable thing, and more to the point, a required thing according to the word, to be set apart. To drop the worlds standards and to instead pick up the standard of the Word of God. To live our lives in such a way that seperates us from evil and things that would hinder us from becoming more like Jesus and truly being do-ers of the Word and not hearers only.


Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:22
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
2 Corinthians 6:15-17
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
 
now theres no need to go into the obvious. We are in the world, but we are not of it. We all know these scriptures arent saying "be a freaky hermit and dont have any contact with the outside world full of rotten sinners" Obviously we must make contact, at some point, in order to witness and be examples. But I think in this day and age, its not this that believers lack knowledge of. I think the problem is that its been dragged way too far over to the other side, where "christians" are now going out to pubs and clubs and having drinks with their workmates to show them how "normal" and "relateable" they are. Some have completely dropped their standards just to appeal to the outside world. They have swapped the simple truth of the Gospel and living a Godly example, for compromise and apathy, all in the name of supposedly reaching a generation that for some unbiblical reason apparently needs to be won over by new weak philosophies that involve the complete erradication of Godly word-based evangelism.
 
Some of these believers are decieved and truly think that if they listen to their unsaved friends favourite profane rap albums and wear the latest fashions (that arent modest in any sense of the word) and go to the movies with their friends to see the latest "romantic comedy" (full of people making light of promiscuity and fornication) to become more "relatable" they may just win over that friend to Christ in the long run. WRONG. This kind of nonsense is being taught like its commonsense. Its spread rampantly throughout churches poisoning well meaning believers minds. Problem is, alot of what God says, and what the world says is commonsense, are totally contrary.
 
Other believers know full well that going to the casino to try their luck with their unsaved friends or enjoying a bit of a gossip session with the hairdresser is something that is blatantly displeasing to God, but use the "im being relatable" excuse to indulge in their sinful habits and idols. They pull out a few out of context scriptures such as "I am all things to all men" or "judge not lest ye be judged" to justify their refusal to be set apart as is demanded of them by God!
 
Heres the short and skinny of the whole thing. It is NOT OKAY to do what your unsaved friends, family or neighbours do for any reason whatsoever. NO you should not get drunk. NO you should not watch that movie with sex scenes and crude jokes, NO you should not hang out at a friends house whilst they get high even if you arent touching the stuff. NO you should not have a gossip about someone for any reason whatsoever. Not to make a person feel better about themselves, not to be relateable, not to try to win them to Christ, not for any reason. The fact of the matter is that God clearly forbids these things. No true Christian should touch that which is unclean, or drop the fruits of the spirit for any reason! Of course we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and His grace covers our mistakes. But these actions are generally rather deliberate and wrongly justified by modern ideals. They become iniquities, bad habits that we will have to answer for one day.
 
Its as simple as looking at the scriptures to see what our standards should be, and then witnessing to the lost by that standard. You shouldnt WANT to seem "normal". We arent normal. We are peculiar. We are strange, different, set apart. And thats half the mystery. We dont live like them, we dont do the things they do, we dont live lives full of deliberate constant sin, yet we are happy, stable, wise and unique people. That alone is enough to turn sinners heads. Its not as complicated as some have made it out to be. Our life will be a screaming witness in itself if we live it right, and anyone who is ready to recieve the Lord will not need you to "relate" to them in order to recieve God. Anyone else, you just need to pray for! the power of prayer is far greater than the power of conformity.
 
My challenge to you dear readers today is to assess where you are at in your walk with God as far as being set apart is concerned. Are you compromising some things that you know you shouldnt be? Does your life reflect that of what pleases God? Does it grieve your heart when you sin and conform to the worlds standards instead of God's or do you just make excuses? Are you set apart? Could you be more set apart?
 
I think we could ALL be more set apart. Even if your doing okay, you could be doing better. If your doing well, you could be doing excellently. I have recently had to make some assessments in my own life and make decisions to take things a step further. There are things that I once wouldnt have blinked at that God has convicted me of to stop doing or start doing. It has been a time of cutting a few branches but it has been very good. If a persons heart is soft towards the Lord and we are genuinely willing to live for Him, His way, then this kind of a post will not offend us but convict us where we need it and encourage us where we need it. I pray you dont become offended by what has been said, but instead become challenged to go and search your heart, and the scriptures, to see if these things are so, and need to be adjusted in your life.
 
As I said, I myself have had to make some changes and also renew my mind when it comes to being set apart. For one, our family has decided to turn off the tv alot more. We rarely used it as it is, since we have certain standards in place for what we will set before our eyes and ears. We adults watched 4 shows a week between us, that we deemed acceptable as they werent full of any filth as such, and there are a number of childrens shows we allowed our toddler to watch also. After prayer and assessment there is only one of the four shows that are acceptable to watch. The others just dont pass the word-test. and we have decreased the number of acceptable childrens programs to just a few also. And we wont stop there. We will assess these allowances regularly to make sure they are still okay, and also to check that we got it right!
 
This is just one example of a number of things that have had to change in our home and lives and we are thankful that God is showing us what needs to change and giving us the grace we need to accept it and joyfully obey. One of the shows we have cut out, is one we would visit a family members house most weeks to watch together after dinner. Therefore weve had to stop doing this which was much to our dear family members confusion who is also a Christian who does not currently share the same convictions as we do about the show. They politely understood and accepted our decision, which was good. It wasnt easy to be set-apart at that moment. We didnt want to offend this person, or make them look bad or less "holy" or anything, yet we had to stick to what we knew God wanted according to the word so there was no getting around it. It wasnt easy to lay that standard out before our family friend but it was necessary and we are glad we did.
 
God didnt say doing the right thing would be easy. But He did say we need to do it, and he is right there all the way. Plus, what a wonderful thing it is to do what is pleasing in God's sight! Amen?

Luke 16:15
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

1 Cor 6:9-10
 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 
Is 33:15-16
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.

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