4. Come Out and be Separate
The message is continually that we are living in a society that is dangerous to our continued faith in following God. It's a society that pushes our attention back onto the pretty beads we already have. In doing this, it diminishes the resolve to obtain that one pearl.
In Proverbs 5, we see by way of analogy this society as the adulterous woman. There it states,
Proverbs 5:8: Remove your way far from her. Don't come near the door of her house, 9. Lest you give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one; WEB
The idea is to remove the temptation, no matter how enticing it may seem. The warning is that playing with fire is a dangerous thing,
Proverbs 6:27: Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? NKJV
In the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote again about this issue. He was encouraging the people to be careful about how involved they became with the ideas and dreams of their society,
2 Cor 6:14: Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion has light with darkness? 15. What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever? 16. What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 Therefore, "`Come out from among them, And be separate,' says the Lord, `Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. 18. I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." WEB
So many times in our life, we can choose what influences will surround us. Often we may feel the fire we take to us won't burn our clothes, but fire is still fire.
What we are implored to do is to examine our choices and things make part of us:
- The movies that paint our dreams.
- The books that shape our ideas.
- The excitement from a game of sport.
- The mood from music
- The values from a choice in job.
Focusing on God for Direction
Right through the Psalms, we can see the virtue in focusing thought onto the things of God.
Psalms 1:1: Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers; 2. But his delight is in Yahweh's law; On his law he meditates day and night. 3. He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. WEB
The drive in life should be to choose the living water to absorb into our lives and to determine who we are.
Importance of the Cause/Motivation
In some of the examples, it's not that the action itself is specifically wrong, but a life in Christ is impeded if having the wrong foundations. The things that will most easily take away our allegiance and basis of faith are those things that are similar, but just that bit different.
The world paints a dream of getting married and living happily ever after. Corinthians says that while not the best option before God, marriage can be a good thing for those that are weak. These overlap somewhat, so the temptation is to just go back and accept the dream of the society.
From this comes a theme of the importance of the cause or the importance of the motivation behind an action.
1 Cor 13:3: If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing. WEB
We can give up all, and do the greatest of acts, but yet if it isn't out of the right motivation it doesn't have the value.
- No value in marriage, if it's from following the dream of our society.
- No value in being single, unless its for the time to spend for God.
- No value to life, unless we are living it with God in our mind.