Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Set Apart: The War Between Calling and Compromise

Now that National Poetry Month is over, #WednesdayWisdom is back! Today's dose is a word on what it means to be set apart. In the war between calling and compromise, which one wins? I hope this message helps you make it over the hump.

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." - 2 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV)

Image source: Medium

From the moment I entered the world, I've been set apart. I was born three months prematurely, and doctors told my mother I had a 50 percent chance of survival. They gave her a long list of things I'd never be able to do, but that list is unimportant because I beat every odd. I excelled academically, and my only "disabilities" were a very mild case of cerebral palsy, which impedes my ability to run and climb, and rhetinopathy of prematurity, a visual impairment which requires me to wear glasses and causes my eyes to wander. Growing up, I was labeled the quiet, weird girl who walked with a limp. People constantly asked if I was looking at them, and when I'd answer "yes," they'd burst out laughing. I was bullied mercilessly from kindergarten through high school, and ostracized among my peers. I was called "lame" because I didn't go out of my way to join cliques, and I didn't dress like everyone else. I was a nerd, a homebody who stayed in the books (shout out to that 4.5 GPA 😎). For a while, it bothered me, but then I realized, people often ridicule what they don't understand. If they only knew my story...

Fast forward to undergrad, which was a (slightly) more mature version of the same thing. I made a handful friends in college, some of whom I still keep in touch with. For the most part, they were good people...the kind of people who got lit in the club on Saturdays and got cute for church on Sundays. Monday through Friday, most of them were pre-occupied with partying, drinking, and hooking up...none of which sparked my interest. As my friends encouraged me to "turn up" and "live a little," I turned down every invitation to compromise, but I started to wonder, Is something wrong with me? Why can't I let loose and have fun like everybody else? I used to think I couldn't do what everybody else was doing just because I was naturally a "goody two shoes" and my conscience wouldn't let me. As I've matured, I've realized it's deeper than conscience. It's calling.

Don't get me wrong, I have sinned. In fact, I fall short every single day. We all do, but the way my anointing is set up, whenever my flesh even thinks about doing something wrong, my spirit is automatically convicted, even if I decide to sin anyway. Back in 2015, I watched a sermon from Christian rapper Lecrae that really blessed me. He was preaching about value, using clothes as an example, and he said something I'll never forget. He said, "You're valuable because of Whose name is on you. God's glory is stitched in your genes." When you're set apart, God's glory is literally encoded into your spiritual DNA sequence. The hand of God in your life will be evident because you won't look, talk or act like the world. He'll take drastic measures to prevent you from sabotaging your own anointing.

If I hadn't been picked on, I might've hung out with the wrong crowd. If I'd started partying, drinking, and hooking up, I could've gotten into a car accident, gotten pregnant, or contracted an STD...but God. He took the taste for all those things out of my mouth before I even had a chance to acquire it. He left me out of the "in crowd" because there is a specific crowd of people I'm called to minister to. My calling won't let me compromise! Somebody out there needs what I've got...and somebody needs what you've got, too!

Being set apart can sometimes feel like a curse, but it's actually a major blessing. It's a heavy but necessary weight, and I'm honored to carry it. I'm still figuring out my purpose, and sometimes, I still wage an internal war with voices of insecurity and doubt. Sometimes I wonder why God chose me (although I'm learning to be content with never knowing why) but I'm so glad He did. Every day, I strive to make Him proud. #WednesdayWisdom

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