By LESLIE LUDY
True set-apartness is about more than just coming away from the world and sinful behavior patterns. It’s also about responding to the most amazing invitation you will ever receive – an invitation to come away with Jesus. He stands ready to gently take your hand and lead you away from the empty pursuits of this world into the glorious realities of His Kingdom.
He beckons, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (Song of Songs 2:10) and, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).
Do you desire to know Jesus Christ deeply and intimately, as your dearest, closest, most trusted Friend? Do you long to not just talk about Him, sing about Him, and learn about Him, but to truly walk in daily, passionate relationship with Him? Are you tired of just reading about God’s promises in the Bible and ready to actually experience the unmatched joy, peace that passes understanding, and soul-level satisfaction that is promised to those who follow Him?
If that is the cry of your heart, He is inviting you to “rise up and come away” with Him. Your Redeemer is lovingly, longingly, and tenderly calling you to come away from worldliness and compromise so that you can come away with Him. He desires to set you apart for His purposes and for His glory. (See Psalm 4:3.) Modern Christianity may have tried to convince you that you can stay comfortably where you are and still follow Jesus; that you can remain weighed down with compromise and still become His disciple. But dear sisters, let us not be deceived. There is no other way to find the intimacy with Christ that we long for except by coming away from the world, so that we can come away with Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (emphasis added). When our desire for Christ finally becomes so great that we begin to seek Him as if we are searching for priceless treasure (see Psalm 119:72); when we are willing to give up all the treasures of this world in order to gain Him (see Matthew 13:46; Philippians 3:8) – that is when He will draw nearer to us than we ever imagined possible. If we want to have unhindered fellowship with Jesus, we must be willing to come away from anything and everything that is standing in the way of whole-hearted consecration to Him.
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Jesus says, ‘Rise up, My love, My fair one and come away.’ He asks you to come out from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. Come altogether away from selfishness — from anything which would divide your chaste and pure love to Christ — your soul’s Husband. Come away from your old habits. Leave all these things. Come away to private communion. Come away, shut the doors of your chamber and talk with your Lord Jesus and have close and intimate dealing with Him … Come altogether away from the world, by making your dedication to Christ perfect, complete, unreserved, sincere, spotless.”
Oh how beautiful it is when the Bride of Christ comes away from the world and begins to shine brightly with the pure light of Heaven. That is what will change this world for eternity. Any other version of Christianity is flat and powerless.
Catherine Booth, the mother of the Salvation Army, wrote these words in 1888, “Show the world a real, living, self-sacrificing, hard-working, toiling, triumphing Christianity, and the world will be influenced by it; but anything short of that they will turn round and spit upon.”
Before that divine transformation can happen to the modern church, it must first happen within our own souls. We cannot expect the Gospel of Christ to change the lives of others, if it hasn’t truly changed us first.
Are you ready to come away from the world, in order to be set apart for your King? On the outside it may seem like an unattractive and unappealing invitation. But when you truly come away from everything else to be where He is, there is nowhere in the universe you would rather be.
Lord send a revival – and let it begin in us!