For each of of the next 21 days, I will be sharing specific ways believers can set themselves apart for Christ through prayer, fasting, and intentional focus. Today begins "setting yourself apart by..."
Setting yourself apart as one who is fully devoted to God requires something so obvious you might not even think of it.
To be set apart for Him, you have to know Him.
I don't mean knowing with your brain the things you've heard about Him or even knowing Him as your Savior. To be devoted wholeheartedly, you have to understand His character - who He is at His core.
Without an understanding of God's character, you will find yourself wondering if He really loves you, if His plans really are good, if this faith thing really is worth it. But once you know Him, you know those things. Once you know who He is, you know how He'll act. No, you might not be able to tell what's coming or what He will allow into your life, but you'll know that everything is for good. You'll trust that everything comes from love. And sometimes knowing is half the battle.
A.W. Tozer said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."
When you think about God, what do you think? Who do you imagine?
Do you envision God as a divine judge with a gavel, condemning you for every mistake?
Do you picture Him as a disapproving father for whom nothing is ever good enough?
Do you think that because He knows it all, He rejects you for your ways?
Too often, we paint our pictures of God with the brushstrokes of humanity, giving Him human failures and frailties. We associate him with humans who have failed us, and we cast Him in the light of those we can see.
God cannot be limited by our finite understanding.
He is only good when humans are often bad.
He is only loving when humans often hate.
He is always patient when humans hurry.
God is not a human, and to set yourself apart for Him, you have to understand that. You have to read what His word says about Him, and you have to commit those words to the deepest parts of yourself.
To be set apart you must be steeped in truth.
Today's Prayer: "Lord, I repent of all the times I have held a wrong view of you, limiting your omniscience to the power of a man. You say that nothing is too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:27), yet I question whether you can act on my behalf. Even more, I question whether you will. Remind me that your always loving nature remembers me and will never forsake me. God, show me more of who you really are. Erase my wrong notions and replace them with truth."