Ezra 6:21: “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.”

July 27th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Some of the people living in the land who were not part of God’s chosen nation were allowed to be a part of them because they had separated themselves from their pagan nations. They were choosing to follow and obey God, separating themselves from the influences of the non-believers around them. We are told to do likewise by the apostle Peter:

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:11–12)

We all know people who claim to be believers but are living a life in open pursuit of the things of the flesh; a neighbor who calls himself a Christian, yet is into alcohol and drugs, in the process of getting a divorce, and already living with a new girlfriend.

God has called us to be a people separated from the things of the world and the flesh; to be a people who have decided, by His Spirit, to walk as He has called us to walk. Do we sometimes fail? Of course, but we have made, are continually making, a conscious decision to flee those things that would war against our souls. Pastor Vance Havner wrote, “We are not to be isolated but insulated, moving in the midst of evil but untouched by it.” Our ultimate model is the Savior Himself, who was both “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26) and “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34). We need to walk like Him this day.

“LORD, help us to be in the world today, but not of it. Use us we ask in Jesus’ name.”