Years ago I found myself singing along to my classmate's music blaring through his phone. It was a secular song and I was unmindful of his presence. "You sing these kinds of songs, Aine?" he asked me in genuine curiosity. I giggled, unsure if I should be embarrassed or not. It was, although secular, not really the kind of song you'd listen to in parties, so I couldn't see why my classmate was baffled with my knowledge of the song.
"Of course I do, silly!" I replied to him, half-laughing.
I remember feeling a tad proud of how I answered him. It was as if I was telling him how Christians are not boring people, as defined by their standards. It was if I was showing to him how we aren't all crazy about restricting our choice of music to hymns. Being surrounded by unbelievers everyday had motivated me then to help them realize that the likes of us are not meant to be feared. That the likes of us aren't always that creepily socially awkward. And that the likes of us could be their friends too. I went along with them, did the things normal teenage girls would've been doing, and gushed over the latest trends. I was almostamong them, except that I limited my music choice, never said foul words, and never went to the parties most of them went to.Perhaps, I thought, I'd shine that way. It was pretty easy. I quickly gained friends without offending anybody's beliefs (or unbelief, if you could call it that). My first few years of being a college student swept by like a breeze, and how things had been, had sadly remained the same, too; the leaf that shook when the wind blew was as still as it had been before the wind came. The friends that I claimed to have, were unmoved from the deep pit. Was it possible that the Lord had not been evident in my life if my existence was not enough to make them see God? It's true that college life had been too safe so far. Was I doing it all wrong? Had I, the woman claiming to be a follower of Christ, took Him to fit in my life, and not the other way around?
Now I realize what a horrible mistake my method was. Imagine so-called Christians in the world today and the only thing you see in them that makes you think, "Hm, he must be a believer," is the fact that he has more Hillsong songs in his iPod than an average person, and that he has occasional posts of verses on his Facebook wall.
When you say that a Christian, a believer, a follower of Christ is set apart, how exactly does he/she need to be separated? How far should one go to be able to fall under set-apartness? Would the inclusion of the existence of Christ be enough?
Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
When we asked the Lord Jesus to come into our lives as our Savior AND our Lord, we had already given our lives to Him. When we committed ourselves to be His disciple, we had already surrendered everything in His hands. Why in the world would a so-called Christian bring the name of Christ and still live his/her life according to his/her terms and not God's?
I had been guilty of this too for a very long time. Although I laid down my purity for the Lord to guard, I had still tugged a part of it towards me. It was like telling a person to take my heavy bag even with my hands tightly clutching its seam.
We had called ourselves set-apart, royalty by virtue of the adoption by the King of kings, and yet we strive to be the kind of royalty this world promotes! The kind of princes and princesses the Lord wants is the kind that seeks His face without ceasing, unmindful of the fast-paced, monstrous world. The Lord desires that His princes and princesses wear His armor rather than the luxurious robes the world tries to drape over them. For in this world there is a battle, not a tea party! The Lord wants undivided attention; He demands our gaze fixed on His shining face and glory. God demands selfless submission because He knows real well that only when our faces are focused on Him, the whole of the ugly shadow falls behind.
The Lord does not take pleasure in half-committed believers. He does not smile at the excuses we give each time the Holy Spirit whispers to us His desire for us to be intimate with our relationship. When Jesus came to Mary and Martha's home, he rebuked Martha for fretting over the work to do. The Lord wants our full attention! And only then do we truly understand what it means to be set-apart.
Christianity is not a social organization! We do not meet a fellow believer and discuss the songs of Christian bands. We do not meet a fellow believer and talk about the other Christians that might be our mutual friends. We do not just talk about the fun that had happened during our fellowships. Christianity is a relationship. It is a commitment. It is following Jesus Christ without compromises.
I am not being an extremist. This is only the truth. In fact, this is the moment we should stand up and be radical about our faith. The time of complacency should have been long gone. If we claim to be set-apart, as children of God, then we must act like one. This is what the Lord meant by being the light and the salt of the earth. Do we really think we could act as salt and light with the kind of lifestyle that only involved Christ instead of the lifestyle that is built on Christ himself?
When we are set apart for God, we have been consecrated to Him. We have already been separated to be living sacrifices for His glory. And because we are, the things we once hold on to should be burned in God's refining furnace. We have to give our world up to be able to draw closer to Him. Do not listen to the world when it says it's okay to be a discreet Christian, because your life is meant to shout Jesus! no matter where you stand.
Try to ask yourself this question, brethren. If you were an unbeliever and met yourself at school or at work, would you be able to see the light of Christ in you right away, or would you only find out when you mention you are?
"You show that you a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:3
I URGE YOU. LIVE A SET-APART LIFE BUILT ON CHRIST.
Aine is a fictionist-poet-in-the-making, temporarily living on Earth as a warrior princess sent by Elohim. Her body is quite fragmented: head up in the clouds, fingers grasped around a pen, feet on solid ground, and heart with the Lord. She firmly believes in the eternal and had invested her whole life on it through Christ and His redeeming love. Clouds run across the sky, solid ground collapses, and waters flow in changing currents, but her soul stands still on the Lord's steady hand.
She'd be happy to have you visit her at http://mutedrhapsodies.blogspot.com/