“How, then, shall members of the new covenant, in their call to be holy, dedicate themselves wholly to God, avoid all that belongs to the realm of death, and be slaves to no one and nothing save Jesus?” D.A. Carson – thoughts on Numbers 6
In Carson’s discussion on the Nazirite vow, he took the three abstinences of the Nazirite and pointed out three reasons for those abstinences.
1) The uncut hair during the period of the vow was a physical symbol of being wholly dedicated to God.
2) The need to avoid all interaction with anyone who had died signified full focus on service to the living God.
3) The abstinence from anything related to grapes, from fruit stage to wine stage, showed a refusal to be controlled in thought or action by anything other than the Spirit of God.
Then Carson closed with the above question, one which really made me stop and think: how do I set myself apart?
I’m not asking how I can be a Christian Nazirite, and I don’t think that’s what Carson was alluding to either. But, I am to be set apart. To be different. How am I living that out right now?
Every now and then this question comes up for me: am I living as one who is set apart from this world? How can I do so even more? I think maybe it accompanies times when I am caught up in restlessness that I try to satisfy in temporal ways. Or, it comes when I’m settling comfortably into a life of spiritual complacency. Or it might also simply arise when it’s time to take another step in my spiritual growth.
Whatever the season, I’m rechallenged today to contemplate where I am in relation to being set apart. Where have I faltered? Where have I relaxed? And where do I need to take a new step forward to be set apart even more?