Made unique with purpose.
Just as no one else has your fingerprint, everyone has unique and innate qualities. When God created mankind, he intended that we would all have His image and likeness, coupled with our personalities. This is vital for us to understand that we can never be like someone else, however much we admire them. We will always stick out as different. God loves variety; different bird species, animals, plants, shapes of clouds, distinct snowflakes and all created things. God expresses Himself within a garden variety to show His acceptance for all kinds. But we have to be willing to be set apart for Him.
We are a unique masterpiece in God’s plan. Of more significance is, it is a spiritual work of divine esoteric design. It is meticulously orchestrated with relevance and purpose. The Holiness of God makes Him The Most Unique above all created things. He’s intended purpose to make us in His likeness, was to be unique in Him.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth (John 17).
This was the prayer of The Lord Jesus to His Father, for his followers. Those who belong to God will stick out like a sore thumb. They will be different from those around them, and this will make them unfavorable. Being sanctified is not being conformed to the world. It’s pledging allegiance to God’s Kingdom, and making no apologies for it. God’s chosen are not of this world, they were created and chosen before the foundations of the Earth, for God’s Kingdom. Though they were born in this world they will not be accepted by those of the world. They have born the likeness and image of the Son of God, as they are sanctified in His Holiness: set apart as holy by being cleansed from sin. Sanctification is done daily as is taking a shower. Upon repentance, they are robed in Christ’s Righteousness.
Just as The Son of God was not of this world, they have been groomed for an eternal dwelling. God keeps them from the evil one, because they have kept His Word. To the faithful, He shows Himself Faithful. The children of God are faithful to keep and obey His Word and live by His Truth. The Lord Jesus sanctified Himself by doing all that The Father asked Him to do; as He was so are we to be; sanctified by living in the Truth of the Word.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word (Psalm 119:9).
How are we to maintain the work of the Spirit of Christ in us? We are kept in it, by obedience. Unless one knows the laws of a place, they can’t be sure of whether they are breaking the laws. We have to be familiar with rules and laws, so that we are not caught breaking them. If anyone regards themselves to be an upstanding citizen, they must be aware of the laws and keep a clean record. How can we keep our nose clean? By taking heed to instructions. The Holy Spirit of Christ keeps us in God’s “good books” by sanctifying us to obedience. We have to read the Word of God to know how to conduct ourselves. But we also have to submit to His Word by thrusting aside our fleshly-rebellious nature, so that we live in His Spirit. Cleansing our way, is taking heed to God’s Word.
21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. They shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 37).
What are the things that make for unity? You would be correct to say, “Sharing or having a common good”. But how is that achieved? When we consider others as deserving as ourselves. Sin brings division, because rebellion against God has a direct impact on those around us. We can only love our neighbor as our self because we love God with all of our being. Loving God ensures that we please Him by how we relate to those around us.
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these (Mark 12).”
The Lord Jesus said that the first commandment is like the second, the two were not mutually exclusive. One could not do the first, and fail at the other. When we place worldly things and pleasures before godliness, we put our own interests ahead of others. Idols are things we put our confidence in that take precedence over everything and everyone else. Idolatry leads to defilement with all sorts of lust and greed, that causes divisions while it separates from God. When King Solomon built altars for idol gods, for his many foreign wives, Israel became fragmented. What unifies a nation is moral principles that foster brotherhood. These are innate characteristics that can only be cultivated by reverence and honor for God’s Standards. God desires for unity but it must involve separation from the things that bring division; from the things that defile. When God’s people shun wickedness, they begin to be unified by righteousness.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15).
In order to be fruitful as Christians, we must remain in the Word. It requires that we abide in Christ and He in us. Just as a branch cannot be fruitful when severed from the vine, we can only receive spiritual nourishment from Christ. We feed on His Word by applying it to our lives and become fruitful when we act upon what it says. The Word convicts us to purge the unproductive elements of our lives. When we are willing to be corrected by Scripture, we can get back on track to being fruitful—useful and productive by the knowledge we have attained. We are sanctified so that we can develop more of The Lord’s qualities. Pruning is purging unfruitful characteristics that impede progress.
41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the people and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles (Ezekiel 20).
Notice that in order to stand before God, we must come out from among others. Our devotion is also measured by the quality time we share exclusively with Him. We make an individual commitment, and He honors it. He says He will accept us, for being willing to separate from others by sanctifying Him as our God. We have to come out from them, before we can enter into the Presence of The Holy One. Unabashed by our relationship with God, we make a public profession by boldly living differently before others.
10 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them (Ezekiel 20).
Sometimes, God has to bring us to a place of trials so that we can only depend on Him. During these times, all we may have at our disposal are His Commandments and Scripture. We don’t know how we will come out of the wilderness experience, but we can choose to wait in His Presence. When God strips us of our confidence in the things and abilities we have long built our hope in, He tests our loyalty to Him. He never leaves us, but uses the circumstances to bring us to worship. Until we acknowledge that He is our source of everything in this life, we will find ourselves in places where we have no choice but to humble ourselves. So, God gives us the opportunity to set some time aside to be sanctified. Time aside to be removed from things and people, to be emptied so that He may fill us. He commands us to set aside a time, where we meet with Him, so that He may forgive us, cleanse us and set us apart, to establish us as His own. He requires we do this consistently, because humans are prone to getting easily distracted.
21 Then the children of Israel who had returned from the captivity ate together with all who had separated themselves from the filth of the nations of the land in order to seek the Lord God of Israel. 22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel (Ezra 6).
When the children of Israel had separated themselves from the filth of those around them, they had a goal in mind. They were set apart so that they could seek the Lord. They were intentional and diligent to prepare themselves for fellowship with God. God was so pleased that He filled them with Joy. We don’t find joy in spending our days trying to fit in with those who have turned their backs on God. When we desire to have fellowship with God and we prepare ourselves, by planning our time, not defiling ourselves, being with others of the same mind, we will find that in His Hand are pleasures forever more. He gave them favor with the king of Assyria, a pagan king, so that they may have everything they needed for the work of God. No holds barred, God will use anyone to meet the needs of those who choose to be set apart for Him.
For a Christian; who is a follower and believer of The Lord Jesus Christ, every character of Christ should be nurtured. He has called us to abide in Him; be sanctified, consecrated and set apart as those who are not of this world but to do His work here on Earth, by obedience. We need consistent refreshment by getting into a sanctum that is uninterrupted by the world ; so that we may be cleansed, pruned, sanctified, nourished and empowered to carry another day. We are the unique work of His love.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2).