Set Yourself Apart for Christ
- Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sacrifice whatever is keeping you too preoccupied to make Jesus your top priority. Break away from parts of your lifestyle that are preventing you from seeking Jesus with your whole heart. Take a hard look at how much time you spend in prayer and Bible study versus other, far less important activities like watching TV or surfing the Internet. Consider what kinds of sounds, images, and messages you’re allowing into your mind on a regular basis. Do they honor God, or do they glorify sin? Where do you turn for enjoyment and comfort – to Jesus, or to someone or something else? Consider such topics as the movies and TV shows you watch, the music you listen to, the way you use the Internet, the magazines and books you read, the way you speak, the way you dress, the activities you pursue, and the friendships you engage in. Remember that if any activity, habit, or relationship in your life tends to pull you away from Jesus, that’s a sign that it doesn’t belong in your life.
Expect persecution, but value Christ more. When you live a set-apart life, you’ll likely encounter negative responses from others who are uncomfortable with the extent of your faith. Don’t be discouraged or derailed by persecution. Live your life to please God, not other people.
Attract the right kind of guys. Don’t worry about being overlooked by guys because you’ve set yourself apart for Christ. The guys who will overlook you for that reason are the kinds of guys you wouldn’t want to date anyway – self-indulgent, sex-obsessed guys who won’t recognize the beauty of holiness or know how to treat you with the honor God wants you to receive. If you haven’t met the right guy yet, don’t put off living your life to the fullest. Instead of looking to romance with men to fulfill you, draw your fulfillment from the greatest love story you could ever participate in – your relationship with Jesus. Make Jesus – not finding the right guy – the focus of your life. Even if the right guy never comes along for you to marry, Jesus will still be enough. When you pour all your time and energy into your relationship with Jesus, you’ll catch the attention of Christlike men, and one of them may even turn out to be the right one for you.
Relate to guys wisely. Be sure to set and maintain clear physical and emotional boundaries in your relationships with guys. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you so you’re not led by selfish motives. Guard your heart and keep the honor of your future spouse in mind. Don’t pursue guys; let guys initiate relationships with you. Remember that, if you want your future husband to be strong and confident, you need to allow Him to follow God’s pattern of being the initiator in your relationship. Forget about flirting, because flirting draws attention toward you instead of toward Christ – and in a healthy relationship, the people involved should be pointing each other toward Christ.
Resist evil’s influence in your life. Don’t allow evil forces to hinder God’s purposes for your life. While sometimes God allows you to suffer so good purposes can be fulfilled, often your problems are attacks from the evil side of the spiritual realm that wants to discourage and defeat you. Pray about whatever is troubling you – fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, confusion, insecurity, family problems, health problems, financial problems, a sense of hopelessness, or anything else – and stand firmly in the power Jesus has given you to overcome evil. Fortify the spiritual walls around your life. Identify breaches like sinful attitudes and behaviors, rebellious habits, and involvement with the occult that give evil forces entry points into your life. Then confess them and repent of them. Make a list of all the areas of your life that don’t reflect the glory of Jesus, and pray about each one. When you pray: be persistent, remember that God wants to do good things for you, be bold, be specific, ask for big things and have faith that God will answer, and stand upon the promise that all things are possible with God. Incorporate prayer into every part of your life and make a habit of praying constantly as you go through each day.
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