by Gail Rodgers
The sharply dressed young people lined the room. They looked fresh, eager and expectant, as they stood ready to step into their new roles. These were the teaching teams for the schools in the villages. They knew they had a unique opportunity to help shape the lives and the future of the children in this corner of Central America.
For two and a half hours I watched them each step forward and declare out loud to one another and to those of us there that they were setting themselves apart this year to be completely dedicated to God in their roles.
Their leaders gathered around each one and prayed earnestly for them. With hands turned upward toward God they received the blessings prayed over them.
With repentant hearts they went to one another to ask for forgiveness in places where relationships were not right. God’s presence was there!
Then they turned and with the others present they gathered around their leaders and prayed for God’s blessing, strength and wisdom for them in the year ahead. I was moved by the depth of sincerity and by the deep awareness of their need for God to be the one who led them into this new school year.
Openly they set themselves apart to be His vessels in this place. I was challenged in my own heart. “Set apart”. What does that look like for you and for me today as we head into this new year?
I thought of Psalm 4:3 where it says, “The Lord has set apart him who is godly for Himself. The Lord will hear when I call unto Him.”
God has set us, as believers, aside for Himself. He calls us to live godly lives in open repentance and forgiveness, in open declaration that we seek Him in all we undertake to accomplish.
As I go about my day this means I will keep my heart open to His Spirit. I will guard my heart attitudes, my thoughts and my schedule as I ask Him what is on His heart for me to do today.
“Set apart” for God Himself. “Set apart” to be active in the family business of giving His love away. “Set apart” from the noise of my day to listen to the quiet voice of His Spirit.
Today you and I are “set aside” for the greater purposes of His plans. “Set apart” from the rest of the world to hear and obey His voice in the places our feet go today.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your divine plans and purposes that are part of my life. Thank you that You have called me to be set apart for You. May I be aware today of being Your vessel. What is on Your heart today, Lord? I present myself to You to be available to step into Your story today. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Question: What has God set you apart for this year?
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