You are different

boy-477013_640Ezekiel 22:26: Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.

It is the plan of God to make a difference between those whose serve him and those who do not in the time when he gives his rewards (Malachi 3:18), a difference between those who are committed to him and those who are not.

After the trial of Job, God made a difference between him and his friends. While he was restored, his fired were directed to go to him for prayer (Job 42:7-10).

For the children of Israel, as they journeyed from the land of Egypt, the message to the nations around at least when they were faithful to God was: touch not my anointed do my prophet no harm (Psalm 105:15). They were his special people.

On the earth with the way God prepared the Garden of Eden he made a difference between it and other places on the earth (Genesis 2:7-8). Part of the creation process was when God made a difference between night and day. God made man and women different. When he made Man he made a difference between him and the animal who also walked and made sound on the earth, by putting his Spirit into Man. That was the difference. The Holy Spirit is the difference in you. He was the one who made the dominance mandate of the man a reality. He is the image of God in man. Man was made to dominate the earth having been made in the image of God. He had the authority to name all the animals (Genesis 2:18-25).

In the New Testament, Jesus made a difference between his disciples and others. He said he has given them authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19).

Jesus was different. He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23) to fulfil the word of God that the seed of the woman will crush the head the devil (Genesis 3:15). Jesus came to make a difference in our lives by destroying the works of the devil. John said: that for this purpose the son of man (Jesus) was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:8).

You are also made with a difference to make an impact on your assigned share of influence. We have gifts according to the grace of God that is given to us (Romans 12:3-6), the grace includes both activities and the opportunity to manifest to gifts.

There is a difference between you and the unbeliever, you have the Spirit of God and they do not, and can exercise dominion on earth. The bible says that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of his (Romans 8:9).

God made each of us different. We have different abilities/capabilities, background, experience, exposure, capacity to understand, perspective.

Maturity is about increasing your difference, having an increasing ability to recognise differences. That was the way the writer of the book of Hebrews puts it. He said that the matured have trained themselves to make the distinction between good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Spiritual growth also has to do with having an increasingly difference between the life we used to live and who we are now (Galatians 2:20), between what we understood yesterday and what we understand today (1Corinthians 14:20). That is about progression, being the better version of ourselves.

“Difference” is also about the spiritual impact we are making.  Elijah in his time made a thunder of spiritual impact. Seizing the rain for three-plus years he got the attention of the nation and ended it all with fire coming from heaven to burn off a water-soaked sacrifice in the full glare of the people. After that, he ended the life of hundreds of false prophets.

He came from relative obscurity to declare the word of God to a nation, bringing it to its knee. He refused to watch and do nothing as people “neglect” the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob because of whom the nation exited in the first place, getting into the bondage of imported gods.

Elijah’s whole story is about “difference.” By setting up a confrontation on Mount Carmel between himself and the prophets of Baal, saying the one who answers by fire, let him be God (1Kings 17-18). It was to show, in the full glare of all the people, the difference between the true God and the impostors that the people were giving attention to. And it worked. In the end, the people shouted: “the Lord, he is God,” recognising who truly is God.

While the others called on their God and he did not answer with fire from heaven, God brought fire. And after years of drought their gods could not bring rain, but God brought rain. All of a sudden, everything changed. God is in charge of the elements. He is the difference, he is the God of endless possibility endless creativity and ability.

By the ability, which is his ability, that he has put into us, that is activated in us, we are made different. We need to recognise and maximise our uniqueness and not try to blend in.

While a Pharisee, Paul was a different kind of Pharisee, saying that he advanced in the religion of his father more than his contemporaries (Galatians 1:14). As an apostle, he said that he worked harder than the other apostles (1Corinthians 15:9-10).

He said he maximised his ministry as an apostle to the gentile. He was not trying to be jealous of other people but was content to be who he is under the grace of God. He said: I am who I am by the grace of God. He puts this difference up to the hand of God upon him. He said the treasure he has from God is in an earthen vessel (2Corinthians 4:7). The vessel is common, it is made from mud, but the treasure is rear and comes from the divinity in us, we are partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4), and therefore all the glory goes to God. Your difference is what is uncommon about you, the value that will be added because you show up.

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