Uh oh! That is a ten letter curse word to some people. Bear with me because a preacher has to preach. Have you ever had to break off from a fond habit, a friend or even a family member? It is one of the most difficult things we can do. Let’s talk about that…
I have recently returned to my study of Ezra and Nehemiah. Those God called men were burdened to rebuild the Holy city, Jerusalem. The temple worship would resume, but first the Temple would need to be rebuilt. But before that, the homes of the city would need to be rebuilt, but before that the city walls and gates would need to be rebuilt. As we read through all the providential favor that the Lord provided to fund the project, find the willing, and further the work we see that there were constant enemies from the outside that had to be dealt with. But, there were some things that were close to the children of the captivity that were not unwanted outside oppressors, but near attachments of idols which came from the intermarrying of the unclean Babylonians with the sanctified children of Israel. They were supposed to live separated from worldly pollutions.
As we come to Nehemiah chapter 9, we read a confession of the path of the captivity, a repentance of the sinful practice, and confession of the sinful alliance with people who dishonored the covenant of the Lord. Then they prayed unto the Lord and did what we used to call a Re-dedication to the Lord. They were still His people and He still loved them but they through rebellion had become captives in a foreign land. While in captivity they had adopted the ways of their captors. But all of that required repentance and a separation. Chapter 10 verse 28 says that all the people “separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God“. They said in verse 30, “we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land nor take the daughters for our sons.”
If our churches are going to come under the repair that they need, there must be some families and individuals who are willing to separate from worldliness. If the enemies are going to be fought off there are going to have to be some walls and gates installed to keep harmful things out and protect the precious things that are within. If the repair will be complete there must be a separation from the things we have learned from the world. Sadly, there will also be some personal influences that we must separate ourselves from. To be clear, God is not looking for hermits but he is in search of someone who will cleanse their temple (chapter 13), set things in order and not ‘marry themselves’ to the world in word, practice or appearance. We are in the world but not of the world. ( John 17:14-16, I John 2:15-16).
What do we need to separate from? You don’t need a list from me. What is going in us; eyes, ears, mouth, heart? What have we married ourselves to (not just in matrimony)? What would hurt to let go of or put away from our life? What do we love or allow in our lives that the sinful world loves and allows? If we pray, the Holy Ghost will show us.
God Bless You!!