Let’s Be Separate Together

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Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we could just block out the wickedness from our lives and have no contact or affiliation with anything that took our minds away from the Lord? If our children and grandchildren were never exposed to anything that would corrupt their minds, and not a foul word was spoken in our presence. Oh Glory to God would not that be awesome! Well of course it would, but it ain’t life as we know it. I stood in the grocery line yesterday; yes, six feet apart as the tape on the floor instructed. But it didn’t take me out of earshot of the guy behind me with the filthy mouth who uttered words that I loathe without consideration of the fact that he was in a public place where children may or may not have been present.  It has become an acceptable part of society that language isn’t to be stifled for any reason. The same is true with images and behaviors that were once considered inappropriate for public display, and now children are exposed to behaviors that cause them to have emotions they’re not prepared to handle. It makes me sick. But such is life, so what am I to do.

Staying in the word helps. It’s a refocus tool that God meant for every child to not only have, but to use. What a novel idea! Pastor Steven preached Sunday evening about how we take the word of God for granted. It’s so true. I have it with in my grasp 24 hours a day. It’s on my phone, my iPad, on my table and multiple shelves in my home. And yet, I’m not in it nearly as much as I should be. I take spurts where I read and study, and then I get distracted and people and things take my mind away from the word and I get in a worldly state. Again…. what do you do.

The one great thing that this quarantine captivity has done for me is cause me to realize that being separate isn’t a bad thing. When the children of Israel came out of captivity, one of the first things they did was to separate themselves.

Ezra 6:21 KJV

[And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat,

That’s a couple of my favorite things right there… God’s people and food!

I think it’s important to realize that the fellowship with God’s people is vital to our Spiritual condition. And as we get ready to join together again we need to appreciate those places where the children of God can commune without the world.

In the Word of God, not the word of the world. 

A prepared heart for a time of fellowship goes a long way in the receiving of the message that God has laid on a Pastor’s heart. If we are prayed up, and read up when the word is spoken to us, it seems to sink deeper into the heart of man than if it has to break through the walls we put up to keep the hurt of the world away. There’s so much discouragement out there. I can so easily start putting up a shield to people around me for fear of my mind going places that it shouldn’t. There are even some church folk who evoke that spirit in me. Their negativity or worldly words cause my mind to be distracted and frustrated. But if I prepare my heart before I enter the sanctuary, I seem to have an inner shield that protects me from the world, and allows the word to take root.

In the house of God, not the dens of iniquity.

It’s a sad day when even the grocery store is filled with filth. We need our time in the house of God to separate ourselves from the world. When the churches were closed for quarantine it took a necessary part of a Christians life away. Separation. Even the home is no longer a sanctuary of escape. We have television, radio, internet, etc that drags that world exposure right through the the front door with us. We need the church where the world is less. Unfortunately it’s still there in some ways, but it’s far less. And with a little help from godly leaders who are tuned in to what God wants His people to focus on, the world can be shut out for a while.

It’s why we have to be careful about allowing the church to look to much like the world. Yes, it might attract people in, but it also opens the door wide for Satan’s influence. We still need the old ways, scripture is clear on that…

Jeremiah 6:16 KJV

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

In the Spirit of God, not the spirit of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

For certain the Coronavirus has caused us all (or most of us) to fear a little greater. That fear has caused us to avoid people and places and now going back in and around people and places is going to come with some hesitancy that I fear will take it’s toll on the church. Handshakes and hugs will be rare, if at all, and smiles will be behind masks, some tied on, and some painted on. It’s another reason to get in the word of God and read the many, many promises and fulfillment’s of His care of His people.

He’s going to take care of us! We need to believe that, not just say it.

I’m not saying that we should proceed with caution when joining together again. But the spirit of the church should be one of peace. We may not be able to shake hands or hug as we once did, but we can use words of kindness and eyes of affection to go a long way! I can’t wait to be back with my friends of the faith. I want to celebrate that day and remember how good God is to allow us to be together again.

I hope my words today have reminded you that you are important to God’s house. You are missed, and loved. Consider yourself cyber hugged today, until once again we can greet each other as before.

In His love, and for His glory. Let’s be separate together!

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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