Be set apart for godliness.
5 And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do wonders among you (Joshua 3).”
There’s a particular decorum that is expected when we are at certain places. When in the presence of one who is highly respected or at a formal event, we comport ourselves with dignity. Most professions demand etiquette or a code of conduct that reflects on character and experience. God’s people should regard their calling with honor. The one who has committed their life to Christ should be set apart to live for His Glory.
10 So The Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My Covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says The Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you(Joshua 7).”
Israel was commanded not to serve the gods of those who they fought, or take their gold and precious things which were used for worshipping idols. The Israelites had to rout the inhabitants of Canaan in order to inherit their land. God gave the Israelites this land, because its inhabitants were wicked. But some Israelites disobeyed God; they took the accursed things and kept them among their belongings. When Israel went to fight the people of Ai they were trounced. Joshua fell on his face before God to inquire why He had delivered the Israelites to defeat.
The children of Israel could not stand before their enemies because they had defiled themselves. God did not go to war with them. God does not associate with wickedness. All along God had fought for Israel because they were His people, and because He had promised to give them the land. What cursed thing is defiling you? It is an abomination to God and He will not compete with it. Sanctify yourself and throw off anything that corrupts you. Get rid of anything that keeps you from God’s best for you. You will not be able to stand against your enemies, or overcome adversity as long as you cling to the cursed things. The cursed things will be your downfall. Repent and be sanctified from every wicked thing. The Lord does not reward disobedience.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of The Living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be A Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says The Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6).”
Believers and born-again Christians can’t accomplish godly purposes by trying to fit in with those who disregard God. Our convictions determine our decisions and life choices. Being unequally yoked with unbelievers is having goals, motives and intentions that align with their principles. Never the twain shall meet. If one endeavors to be righteous, they will not succeed by assimilating to works of darkness. We are the habitation of The Spirit of God. We have been made one with Christ. Everywhere we go and everything we do is done while abiding in Him. A temple, church, or place of worship is sacred.
Separate yourself from those who do not advance your growth in Christ. Don’t engage in activities that lead you off track. Be separate, touch no unclean thing and God will make you His Own. He will be your Father and you will be His forever. Come out and be separated from others. God dwells and walks among those who walk with Him. He accepts and receives those who are not ashamed to acknowledge Him even in their associations.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in The Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. 19 Who, in the past, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4).
Leave your past behind; put off the old man that was once corrupted by sin, uncleanness and ignorance. You are taught by Christ, being trained by His Word and are led by His Spirit. You are now a new creation in The Lord Jesus Christ. The truth about you is in Christ and is no longer in your past ways. You are God’s creation, made according to His design— in true righteousness and holiness. Don’t believe that you are who you used to be.
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15).
Your identity is now in Christ. Put on newness by renewing the spirit of your mind. See yourself in Christ and you will not regress to your former ways. You become the thoughts you feed. You succumb to your greatest desires. Renew your mind by putting on the mind of Christ. Don’t compromise by adopting the habits of others who live on a whim. Bad company can turn you back to your old ways. Choose your closest friends wisely. Your good character in Christ can be tarnished by bad influence.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: 4 three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; 5 the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to The Lord?”
6 Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. 7 They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron (1 Chronicles 29).
Are you willing to consecrate yourself today for The Lord? What are you willing to give God from your life to honor Him? David gave all he had in gold, silver and other items to build the house of God. He gave willingly because he set his affection on The Lord. He consecrated all that he gave for the work of God. We consecrate ourselves to The Lord by willingly offering Him all the areas of our lives. Our jobs would be done more diligently, if we consecrated them to The Lord. Our marriages would be blessed, if we consecrated them to The Lord, by being the best spouse we can be. Our parenting would be more effective, if we consecrated our children and our responsibilities to The Lord.
Until we set our affections on The Lord, we will not offer our lives willingly to Him. If we love God, we will give Him our time and resources. We will give God the best of ourselves— the best portion of our time, effort and attention. We consecrate ourselves to The Lord by willingly giving ourselves to His Work. The work of the house of God is done by the Body of Christ, The Church. Those who have consecrated their effort, time and resources for the house of God will not have given in vain.
2 As they ministered to The Lord and fasted, The Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13).
The Holy Spirit has work for each one of us to do. After we have spent some time in prayer and seeking God, we will be better prepared to serve Him. The work that The Holy Spirit has for us must be taken seriously. It is incumbent upon those who are called to ministry, or to do the work of God, to be consecrated first. After the apostles prayed, fasted and laid hands on Saul and Barnabas, they sent them out at the behest of The Holy Spirit. They had to be brought to complete submission and surrender to The Holy Spirit, before they began the work. Those who do the work of The Holy Spirit must be set apart to do only what The Spirit empowers them for. The work is only done in subservience to what He wants. Those who are sanctified by The Holy Spirit are chosen to do the work that glorifies Him—His Work, not their own intentions.
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (1 Timothy 4).
Train yourself to be godly by doing whatever is necessary to live by God’s Truth. There are many ideas out there about how to live a long fulfilling life; but most of them will not give you sustainable hope, joy, peace and assurance of Eternal Life in Christ. Myths and old wives’ tales, or fads are just people’s suggestions on how to do life from their own experiences or those of others. God is the Source of Life, and being godly is the best way to live. Physical exercise is good for your heart, mind and physical strength; it only benefits the individual. And will not give you real contentment, peace, disciplined children, good relationships, righteousness, good work ethic, nor will it strengthen you in your trials and afflictions. Godliness has value in everything. Godliness is being able to discern spiritual truth and live by it. We train ourselves to be godly by applying God’s Wisdom. Godliness will lead to productive lives that bear enduring fruits for this life and the next.
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying The Truth through The Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through The Word of God which lives and abides forever ( 1 Peter 1).
Our souls are purified by our obedience to The Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth. He is not The Spirit of fables, hearsay, gossip or myths. He teaches us to love with sincerity and to do so with a pure heart, devoid of malice or bitterness. A pure heart loves others with the Love of God. A pure heart has no ill intentions nor is it judgmental towards others. We have been born again by the seed of God, The Word of God—The Truth of God, which compels us to love others. This Word is incorruptible in the lives of those who obey, and it abides in them forever. It purifies by purging out lies, bitterness, hatred and everything that goes against God. Love stifles and suffocates negative perceptions of others. Fervent love for others makes our hearts pure.
Be consecrated for The Lord, as you live for Him. He has called us out of our past lives that lusted after sin, into the life of His design, in holiness and righteousness. We are not meant to fit in with those around us. In fact we are called to stick out like a sore thumb by the godly lives we live.
The Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth leads and guides us in God’s Truth, not old wives’ tales or myths. He adjures us to obey, set our affections on God and to love others with God’s Love, with a pure heart. Consecrate your life, your resources, time and profession to God. Do the work that The Spirit has set you apart for.
We must touch no unclean thing that sullies us, or take cursed things as our possession. We are bound to live defeated lives, if we defile ourselves. God will not fight for us, but will deliver us up to our adversaries, if we disobey. We must come out and be separate. God has promised to accept us and make us His precious sons and daughters, if we do not touch the unclean things or partake in works of darkness. We are the temple of The Holy Spirit. The Lord dwells among us and we have been sanctified as His special treasure, above all the people upon the face of the Earth. Be consecrated; you have been purchased with a high price—The Precious Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ.
6 “For you are a holy people to The Lord your God; The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 7).”