Bored again! I sat in my Sunday school class bored as always. As had become the norm in my life for several years, I lost any interest in the discussions that went on around me in that class or any other we attended. No one ever talked about anything substantial and so much was repetitive or pointless. I was already saved by grace, but it seemed like that is all anyone talked about. Salvation. Grace. Salvation. Grace. I was hungry for more, but there was never more so my mind would wander and I would look ‘interested’ by reading my Bible.
For several years, my husband and I had been searching out the Jewish roots of our faith. We had been learning about the Sabbath and the Festivals of the LORD and were trying to incorporate them into our Christian lives. We shared what we could with others in our church only to be looked at strangely or told we were ‘falling away’ from the grace of God and His salvation. Without knowing anyone else who was seeking these things, we felt alone. We continued with our Sunday activities because we were warned about ‘forsaking the fellowship,’ but there was always something missing –– FELLOWSHIP. This particular boring day changed the course of our walk forever.
“Therefore, come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore since we have these promises dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).
I could barely contain myself. I wanted to whisper in my husband’s ear. I wanted to shout to the class what I had just read and what it meant to be a son or daughter of the Father. This was the most exciting moment in Sunday school history for me! I looked around the room and knew none of them would have the same eyes to see or ears to hear. I re-read the verses and wondered about some of the things that I did not understand.
What did it mean ‘to contaminate body and spirit?’ What did it mean to purify ‘ourselves’? What did ‘perfecting holiness out of reverence for God’ look like? What was ‘clean?’ What was ‘unclean?’ I turned to the little Concordance in the back of my Bible and looked for ‘unclean’. I began reading in Leviticus 11 about animals that were considered food and animals that were not. My eyes kept opening. I saw that there were things like lying, lust, and anger that contaminated the spirit, but now I saw that there were things like ‘unclean’ foods and behaviors that contaminated the body.
Later that day, I shared my new-found understanding with a soon-to-be seminary student. Needless to say, his response was less than encouraging. He came at me from every angle under the sun to refute any ideas I might have regarding my own responsibility in a relationship with the Lord. According to him, the relationship was one-sided. Jesus had done everything on the cross that needed to be done, and that which he hadn’t done, the cross removed from our lives. We just have to believe, that’s all. That’s it. He continued his rebuke saying that if I would choose to eat the foods that God called ‘clean,’ I would put myself back ‘under the law’ and would need to be ‘circumcised.’ My head spun.
I opened my Bible again to 2 Corinthians. The words stared back at me.
“Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord.” The words suddenly took on a new meaning. The LORD was speaking directly to my husband and I. It was time to obey and come out from ‘them.’ It was time to ‘purify ourselves’ from everything that did not bring forth holiness and reverence for God whether or not we completely understood. It was time to stop forsaking fellowship with our heavenly Father out of fear of earthly men and their arguments. It was time to submit to God and learn His thoughts and His ways and receive His promises.
That was in 1994. We have never looked back.
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