What is the difference between standing near the Cross and clinging to it?
As I was reading the second chapter of the Set-Apart Woman and examined myself with the question, I remembered how I proclaimed myself as Christian yet chose to separate myself from God’s vineyard. Standing only near the Cross (presence of God) was a totally hopeless life – literally!
Bearing a heavy heart looking at the Cross from a far was really an uncomfortable moment especially that I know myself I’ve been called for His. But clinging to it was exactly the opposite.
This time, I choose to understand and accept what it means to cling to the Cross. As Christian, clinging to the Cross means embracing the supernatural enabling grace of God; willingness to bear its reproach (to endure disapproval of the world); complete consecration to the King (acceptance of His purification and refinement); forsaking mediocrity (abandoning passivity and immorality); setting apart oneself from the world and everything that is within it; and standing boldly for the glory of the King (read Hebrews 11:24-26).
As the book has told how a person becomes set-apart for Christ, how will this also affect the world? The author emphasizes that being set-apart for Christ is not a hindrance to our Christian witness but it is our Christian witness.
Yes. Being set-apart from the world for Christ is our witness of His love and grace, of His purification and refinement, of His greatness and magnificence.
We cannot call ourselves Christians yet blend to the culture of the world for us to draw people closer to God. Being set-apart can change the world but need not using the culture (of the world). As the author said, “True Christianity will influence the world but it will never be applauded by the world.” We, Christians, cannot become part of the culture or the other way because “True Christianity has always been, and will always be, offensive to the culture. Come to think of how great men and women in Christ like Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, Elizabeth Elliot, and many others have set their lives apart yet able to reached and influenced the world because they have embraced Christ’s reproach?
Thus, we need to embrace Jesus and His Cross for us to become set-apart from the world to reach the world for His glory because true set-apartness is based upon an authentic relationship with the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords.
To become a complete set-apart for Christ is not to question ourselves “When” but “How”. Let us ask the Lord for His grace so we can be able to surpass all His purification and refinement in our character so we could live a life like Christ as character towards Christ is more important than any other thing in this world.
Be a set-apart Christian. Cling to the Cross. Miss a heart for Christ. Rest in His Presence.