“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest…” (Josh. 1:7).
When we commit to living a life with God, we are called to separate ourselves from the people and the elements of the world. We are not called to isolate ourselves from the world. If this were the case, then how would we be able to fulfill Christ’s command to “go into all the world and teach (or make disciples of) all nations” (Mt. 28:19)?
The purpose behind the separation is to prevent us from being seduced back into our former way of living. This is why Christ prayed that the Father would “sanctify them (meaning us) through Thy truth” (Jn. 17:17). Why? Because even though we are in this world, we are no longer of the world (Jn. 17:16). Since we are no longer of the world (because we subscribe to Kingdom living), we face contention from the world (as did Jesus) because we have a formidable enemy who is both ruthless and relentless in his assaults against anything that reminds him of God (1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Cor. 10:3-6).
To remain in the world and to continue to engage in its activities will prevent us from living life with God and presenting Christ to the world as the Only Answer to their present condition. To continue to live as the world lives would negate our testimony of salvation and deliverance from sin (Gal. 5:1). In other words, there must be some distinction between the people of God and the people of the world. Therefore, to proceed forward in life with God requires us to submit to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-17, 19-25).
This is but a small sacrifice to make for such a great Gift and Benefit given to us in exchange.