I heard a story recently about movie star Megan Fox. The story was taken from an interview she did with a popular magazine. In this interview she disclosed how she had to reinvent her public image into someone who was very different from who she actually was so that she would stand out from the rest of the Hollywood crowd. She described how the competition is so fierce in Hollywood that you have to do all you can to stick out and be original from everyone else. So the Megan Fox you see in public is very different from the one you would see in private.
I thought this was so sad that someone had to become someone they were not to be set apart. In the book of Exodus God tells Moses that for one day each week they are to set it apart from everyone other day. This day would be a day that was very different from the other six, a day that would be called the Sabbath. On this day the people were not allowed to work in any way. God told Moses in Exodus 31:13 that in the same way they were to set one day apart, so also God would set His people apart from the other nations of the world.
In fact God said to Moses, that he was Jehovah Mekoddishkem, which basically translates as the Lord who will sanctify you or the Lord who will set you apart. God told the people to be Holy as He was Holy. In itself this is an impossible task. We are sinful human beings who do not have the ability to be Holy. Yet Jehovah Mekoddishkem has promised to help us in this task.
God has set you apart from everyone else. He has set you apart for a purpose, a plan. He has set you apart for greatest and for his own pleasure. God has set you apart to become a difference maker, to be a light in a dark world. God has set you apart to be a city on a hill so that all can see.
As you pray today, know that the God you are praying to is the God who looks upon you as a unique individual who is very different from the rest of the crowd. Different because He is the God who has set you apart. As you pray it may feel like you are swimming against the current, or that everyone else is going in another direction, this is why it is important to know that He is Jehovah Mekoddishkem. You are not supposed to be swimming with everyone else, instead the God you pray to today is the God who has set you apart for great things!
One of the biggest reasons people find it hard to pray is that they feel shame and guilt. It’s not hard to come to God the first time and ask for forgiveness, but when you keep doing the same mistake again and again it becomes so much harder to come to God and ask for forgiveness. You feel almost insincere in your prayer, but know each and every time you are equally sorry.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it pushes Jehovah Tsidkenu aside. The term Jehovah Tisdkenu is found in Jeremiah 23:6. God tells the people through the prophet Jeremiah that it is God who saves and God who restores people to himself. The word Tsidkenu means to make righteous. So God is telling the people that He is the One who makes us right with himself.
This is one of the most important principles we find throughout the bible. It is not by our own works or our own goodness that makes us right with God, it is only God himself. Jesus Christ came to this earth to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. It was through this sacrifice that we have the ability to be right with God. Through what we call the grace of God we can be called righteous and find forgiveness for our sins.
So even though you may feel like you fail God time and time again. You know that you seek forgiveness but you turn around and fall into the same trap of sin, know this; Jehovah Tsidekenu has come to your rescue. He and only He is the one who can be your righteousness. He desires to pour this grace out to you and the more you let Jehovah Tsidkenu in your life the more your life starts to live in a way that models someone who is righteous.
As you pray today, pray with confidence that through Jesus Christ you are already in right standing with God!
Have you ever had a conversation with someone but their mind was somewhere else? You talk to that person but it seems they are just not there.
This can seem pretty rude and very annoying. However, if we are to be honest the majority of us do this on many occasions, especially guys!
There is an attribute given to God that only appears one time in the entire bible. Through the prophet Ezekiel God promises that He will not neglect the people of Israel and will not depart from Jerusalem. In fact in Ezekiel 48:35 the people renamed the city of Jerusalem, Jehovah Shammah, which means God is there.
For the people of God they realized that God had not abandoned them, but God was present amongst them. He had not left them to die but He was their help and their very life source.
As you pray today, pray with the knowledge that the God you pray to is Jehovah Shammah. He is there, He is listening and His mind is on you. When you communicate with Him, He isn’t thinking of other things, giving you half of His time, but He is there!
In the same way He was there for the people of Israel and had not abandoned them, so to He is there for you, He has not abandoned you but is present and here to help you.