Peter 1:15-16 But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior: Because it is written “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY". We are called to be set apart. We are different and should not look like those who have not been called. Our God is set apart from all other gods. There is none like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God, the Creator of all in whom all power and authority reside. We have been called to be set apart as He is set apart. My life is no longer my own; I have surrendered my life to my Lord. My dreams and desires have been set aside to do the bidding of my Lord. He chose me, He called me, and my first act of obedience was to say yes. If I have truly surrendered my life, my answer continues to be "Yes, my Lord". If I walk in that place of obedience to my Lord then I should be able to ask Him for whatever I need to accomplish what He has called me to do and expect Him to say "So be it". Christ told His disciples “Whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Most of us ask for things to help us do what He has not called us to do or for things to help with our own desires and dreams. They can be good things, just not what He has told us to do. I can ask for money to feed the poor, a building for ministry, or money so I can spend more time in ministry. All are good intentions with a good heart, just not what He has called you
We are living in a time as the body of Christ that the Lord is requiring a lifestyle of purity. I have referred to it as an intense pressing compared to a choice* grape in a wine press. Purity looks like something. It is the constant pressing out, removal so to say, of all that is within us that is not pleasing to Him. * 1 Peter 2:9 but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellence of him who has called you out of darkness into the marvelous light. * Ephesians 1:4-5. just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love. He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will. Yes, according to scripture we have been chosen and set apart. This intense pressing is in the preparation for the great outpouring of the Spirit of God. It will produce humility, obedience, repentance, purity, and much more, as it is personal within each of us. A plumb line has been dropped from heaven to earth. The righteous will grow in righteousness and the wicked will gnash their teeth and curse God. Which side of this plumb line are you on?
Did you know you are an artist? You are painting a picture of Jesus every day! In fact, some of you are painting the only picture people have of Him. If you profess to be a Christian, then your life should reflect Jesus. There should be no need to tell people you are a Christian, your life should be so contrary to the world that it is obvious you are set apart. If we could take the teachings of Jesus and apply them to our lives, if we could stop making excuses (“That is not really what he meant”, “God doesn’t want me to be a doormat” or “Well, I just don’t believe that”) and live our lives according to the words Jesus spoke - what a difference we could make! A few of the words spoken by Jesus for instance “Lend without expecting it to be returned”, “Bless those who curse you”, Pray for those who mistreat you”, and “Love one another by this the world will know you belong to Me” are words we choose to ignore or try to explain away. Christ said “Follow me” and that looks like something! What type of picture are we painting?