Separation for service

SOURCE: soulshepherding.org
SOURCE: soulshepherding.org

Number 16:9: is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the LORD and to stand before the congregation to minister to them,

Service and separation go together. We have to be separated to God to serve him effectively. Jesus said that if anyone will be his disciple, he must carry his cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23-26). What is your cross? That is your seeming disadvantage, what are you called to die to, that is your cross.

If you will not die to self, then you are not ready to follow him, if you are not ready to die to human opinion, or human approval then you cannot follow Jesus. Paul said: if I still pleased men, then I will not be a servant of God (Galatians 1:10). What do you think will happen if Jesus was about seeking the approval of men? What about Paul? They both will not be able to do the will of God.

Jesus does not run on the pressure of human needs. After a day of explosive ministry in a place, Jesus woke up early enough not telling the disciples where he went to. He went to pray. He needed to separate him for a time of prayer.

But while he was in prayer, many people were looking for him. They wanted him to continue where he left off, dishing out miracles to them (Mark 1:23-39).

But he was separated from human opinion and pressure into the service of God. He told his people that he needs to move to other villages also, fulfilling the will of God, and not the will of men who wanted him to stay where he was. He had to do what he was sent to do.

He was separated to his father’s business. When he was 12 years (Luke 2:21-49), his sense of identity was so strong that he told his parent that they should know that he has to go about his father’s (God) business. He was no ordinary 12-year-old; he understood that he was separated.

Of John it was said that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb (Luke 1:15), which means he was separated to God for him service even at that age (or non age). He was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel, his food was locust and honey and he wore camel’s skin. Those were his “cross”, the symbol of his separation to God. It was necessary for the radical prophetic ministry he was called into (Matthew 3:4).

He was the voice of the one crying in the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord (John 1:23). He was separated for the service of God. Paul confessed that he was separated from his mother’s womb to the gospel of Jesus (Galatians 1:14-15). He said: necessity is laid on me; woe is me, if I do not preach the gospel (1Corinthians 9:16). God told Jeremiah that while he was in his mother womb He appointed him as prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:1-5). He was separated for that purpose.

When Paul and Barnabas were called by the Holy Spirit into a new phase of service (Acts 13:1-5), a new level of separation was demanded from them. The Holy Spirit said that the leadership of the church was to separate to him Paul and Barnabas for the work He has for them.

A new phase of work demands a new phase of separation. Do not reject new promptings of the Holy Spirit for a new level of separation; it is all in preparation for a new level of service.

When Jesus was baptised in river Jordan by John the Baptist, on coming out of the water, heaven became opened and the Spirit of the lord came upon Him like a dove (Luke 3:13-4:2). A new experience of God means a higher level of separation was demanded of him. He went without food for the next forty days.

You would think that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it is time for party, the Holy Spirit has come and there is no problem again. Rather, the Holy Spirit brings a higher demand of separation and self denial. That is the way he works, that is the way of God. That is the way of the Spirit. The way of the Spirit is the narrow way where your life purpose becomes narrowed into one. Jesus said: I must do the work of him who sent me the night comes whenever no man can work. He was separated to that one purpose.

The thesis is that new level of service demands new levels of separation. Jesus, for the purpose of his work in the lives of humanity said that he sanctified himself (John 17:19). His work as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world demands a higher level of separation in the giving of his life for the world (John 1:29).

Separation is about laying down your life in a measure, laying down your time, your energy, your social obligations, even your certificates for the purpose of the kingdom.

Paul said what is gain to me I count as dung for the excellence of gaining Christ (Philippians 3:4-13), and be found in him not having my own righteousness which is by the law but that which is by faith. For the level of service that is demanded of him as an apostle to the gentile, he had to lay down his credential as the Pharisee of Pharisees, which was an important intellectual and social standing in the time he lived.

Of Moses it was said that when he became older refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (Hebrews 11:24-29); regarded suffering with the people of God better than sharing in the pleasures of sin. It was probably because he understood he has a role to play as a deliverer for Israel that he decided to separate himself. He sacrificed his identity as the son of Pharaoh to be the true deliverer of Israel, separated to his divine purpose.

The anointing on you is a double-edged sword; it has the demand of separation and at the same time determines your function; the higher your function, the deeper the depth and the time of your separation.

Devotion and action are two sides of the same coin. The higher the assignment, the deeper the devotional demand. The bigger the tree the deeper you will expect the root to go down, so that he can withstand the pressure of the wind.

Of the remnant of the house of Judah, the bible says that they will first take root downwards and then they will bear fruits upwards (2Kings 19:20). The time of your devotion to seeking God are not for waste, the fruit is about to come forth for everyone to see.

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