Come Out from Among Them!
“Come out from among them! Be ye separate.”
If God asked, would you answer this command? Would you do it even if the people He’s calling you to separate from are your friends? Family? Lover?
One thing I’ve learned about God is that He truly wants what’s best for us. This includes who is best for us. Sometimes, despite deep connections, God will ask that you separate from a certain person or certain group of people. This is because the people around us usually do one of three things: either they propel you forward, keep you stagnant, or hinder you.
Think about your friends. Examine your circle. Which category do they fall in? And if you’re not sure, pray about it and ask God how to move forward. Because the people you surround yourself with can severely impact God’s plans for you. Take the bed-ridden man sick of palsy in Mark 2.
His friends heard about Jesus. They knew that if they could get to Him, their friend would be healed. When they arrived, the building was too packed to enter through the front door. So, they decided to climb on top of the roof and drop their friend in to Jesus through the ceiling.
These are the type of friends you need. Friends that propel you, specifically friends that propel you towards Christ. Keep in mind that you may have friends who may propel you in other ways. Maybe they support your business. Maybe they support your dreams. Maybe they are nice, friendly people whose company you enjoy … but if they aren’t escorting you to Jesus, is it the type of relationship God approves of?
Oh, and might I add, that Godly friends who propel you towards Christ may not always support your actions. If you are striving to be Christ-like, you don’t need friends who support you when you engage in ungodly acts. You don’t need friends who stand by and remain silent or encourage you to make unwise decisions. Those aren’t friends. Those are “yes” men or women who will not aid you in advancing towards God or His plan for you.
You need some friends like Paul. When Paul saw Peter behaving inappropriately, he called Peter out. He held him accountable. Real friends will tell you the truth, hold you accountable, even if it’s hard to hear. A real friend, a Godly friend, will not watch you make horrible decisions or stand by silently while you act contrary to God’s Word. That’s why we should be careful with having worldly friends because a worldly friend will not see an issue with you behaving… well, worldly.
Now, sometimes people argue that Christ Himself sat amongst worldly people. That He dined with sinners. This is true. But were the sinners His friends? Were they apart of His circle? No, not from what I can see. His friends were the 12 disciples. That was His clique. His circle composed of like-minded individuals—kingdom-minded individuals.
If your goal is to stay under God’s will, to follow His plan for your life, you may have to clean up your immediate circle. This is not to say that you shouldn’t converse or even dine with those who aren’t kingdom minded. We are, after all, called to go out into the world to make disciples per the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV). Thus, new disciples are merely former worldly people. However, there is a difference between engaging people and being yoked to people. There are simply certain people that we should not be yoked to.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(2 Corinthians 6: 14-18 KJV)
Be careful with that term unbelievers. Don’t write off unbelievers to only be atheists or careless, unconcerned people. We may think that a believer is anyone who says they are one. But I’ve come to realize that some “Christians” aren’t true believers. Some “Christians” dabble in witchcraft. Some “Christians” never open their Bible to hear from God. Some “Christians” say “Lord, Lord” with their mouths, but their heart is far from God (Matthew 15:8).
So, pray. Ask God to reveal and shed anyone from your circle who isn't a true believer or anyone who doesn’t propel you forward. I said earlier that there were two other groups of people: those who keep you stagnant and those who hinder you.
Ask Caleb and Joshua how the people around you can delay God’s plan for you. In Numbers 13, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who believed they could possess the Promised Land. Everyone else in their clique didn’t believe; therefore, the unbelievers refused to pursue the plan of God.
Unfortunately, Caleb and Joshua wound up stagnant in the wilderness for 40 years along with the unbelievers. 40 years. It’s estimated that the journey to the Promised Land would’ve only taken them 11 days. 11 days! They could’ve inherited the land in less than 2 weeks, but the people around them kept them stagnant for 40 years!
Who's around you that has possibly kept you stagnant? Don’t you see how important your circle is? The bed-ridden man’s circle brought him blessings. His sins were forgiven, and he was healed. But the people around Joshua and Caleb kept them stagnant. Thank God, both Caleb and Joshua eventually made it to the Promised Land because of their belief, but my goodness! It took long enough, didn’t it?
I’m going to leave you with one last example—an example of people who will hinder you. In 1 Kings 11, we see that King Solomon married “foreign” or “strange” women. Basically, he married women God forbad him to marry. He yoked himself to the wrong women. In the end, these women turned Solomon’s heart away from God. He eventually participated in idol worship and did evil in the eyesight of God.
Again, I beg of you, check your circle. Be it friend, family, or lover, check your circle! It is of utmost importance to determine which category they fall in. God will reveal it to you if you ask. Yet, admittingly, what He reveals may be a hard pill to swallow.
You may not want to remove yourself from someone God tells you to separate from. Separation, of course, would be your choice. But understand that the trade-off for holding on to someone God tells you to let go of will not work out for you in the end.
If you have trouble letting go, ask God to give you strength and to comfort you as you separate. You may very well discover that God desires to separate you from everyone around you. You may end up isolated. Both Elijah and Jesus had to journey alone at some point in their life.
Although they felt completely isolated, honestly, they weren’t alone. God, the Father, was always right there with them. Sometimes God needs to isolate us so that we can hear from Him and Him alone. So, please know that separating from others doesn’t always mean that the other people are unbelieving people or people that will keep you stagnant. Sometimes you simply must separate so that God can do what He needs to do for you and through you.
Other times, it could simply be time to move on. Everyone isn't meant to be in your life forever. Even if you don’t know why God is calling you to remove yourself from a person or group, it’s best just to separate. Again, pray and pray fervently that you are doing what God wants. There’s no need in ending relationships that God intends on you having. We must always be directed by God, and He will direct us to the right people in the right season if we seek Him.
That’s all I have you guys! I hope that this has been a blessing to you. Have a great day and week. Lord’s willing, I’ll see you next week.
Check out Quin Arrington's book, And Then You Shall Have Good Success, by clicking the link(s) below:
eBook: And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way - Kindle edition by Arrington, Quin. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Paperback: And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way: Arrington, Quin: 9781737122500: Amazon.com: Books