The Price of Separation
Ruth was one of the women who were married to one of the sons of Naomi. She was a Moabite, an idolater and a woman who knew nothing about the God of Israel. Just like many of us, Ruth was no exception when it comes to our origin because no one chooses where to be born, or where we come from. We are totally helpless when it comes to this. She, however, refused to be a part of her miserable past. The moment she got married to Naomi’s son, she knew that she would not let go of this opportunity to change her life.
Her husband died and Naomi decided to go back to her land. It is clear that Naomi was still in Ruth’s ancestral land. It would have been easier for her to bid Naomi good bye and return to her father’s house. After all, she had only been married for a few years and by the time her husband died, Ruth had no child. She was young and could have found a suitor if she wanted to, but she made a hard decision – to follow her mother in law to wherever she will go and cling to her no matter what happens. She was so serious that she made a commitment;
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you”~ Ruth 1:16-17 ESV.
Naomi had to let her be and she followed her to Bethlehem. When she arrived there, she did not just sit down; she took it upon herself to work and take care of Naomi. She was also obedient, taking instructions from Naomi and carrying them out carefully. At the end of it all, Ruth was blessed with a man who was Naomi’s close relative, rich and influential. It did not end there; she ended up falling into the genealogy of Jesus. Undoubtedly, she is a history maker, but it did not just happen. She paid one of the greatest prices many would have considered so costly; the price of separation.
God called Abraham and gave him clear instructions to leave Harran and go to a country which He was going to show him. He obeyed the voice of God, but then, he saw it good to associate Lot in his journey.
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him ~ Genesis 12:4a ESV
Abram was marked for greatness and God had promised him that he would bless him.
“…And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”~ Genesis 12:2-3 ESV
When he reached Canaan, the Lord appeared to him and said:
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him ~ Genesis 12:7 ESV
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. While he was here, famine struck. I believe that he didn’t know what to do and so he came up with a plan. This plan was humane and born out of his own flesh.
Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”~ Genesis 12:10-13 ESV
They agreed with each other and as Abraham had predicted, it happened. All this time, Lot was with him. It did not take long though and Abraham was kicked out of Egypt after his lie was discovered and he went back to Canaan. He wandered around and about until he came back to the place where he had built an altar for the Lord and it’s here where he called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 13:1-4).
Abram simply retraced his steps back to the place where he had ‘left’ God. After he called on the name of the Lord, God intervened, but this time, separation occurred. There arose a serious disagreement between him and Lot and at this point, he discerned the need to separate. What Abraham did was to simply come back to the God who had called him. I believe that by going to Egypt, he had lost track. This is why his stay there was not long considering the fact that he lied to access the land. He had incorporated Lot in his journey and he became an obstacle for him.
One of the greatest prices you are going to have to pay in your pursuit of greatness is the price of separation. The greatness in you will demand that you separate yourself from some people, habits, your past and every other ‘Lot’ you have carried along. No matter how much potential you carry within you, it will remain unrealized unless and until you are ready to pay the price of separation.
‘Lot’ is a distraction you don’t need in your journey because he can cause you to delay, abort or kill your destiny altogether. ‘Lot’ can be an ungodly relationship, bad friends or even relatives who are not acceptable before God; evil and bad habits that may be in your heart like hatred, bitterness, evil passions, greed, pride, lust, malice, jealousy, envy etc. These are just some examples that can cause God’s presence to depart from you, and you and I know that you can never be on the right track if the presence of God is not with you. You need God, there is no shortcut to this. Your greatness starts and begins with Him and so His presence is a necessity in your life.
Do not allow ‘Lot’ to become an obstacle in your life. Many people have aborted their dreams and visions and have watched them go down the drain because they made wrong choices. Sometimes you may think that you are in the wilderness. But you must understand that wilderness has its own set period and you are not meant to stay there forever. Great is the possibility that you are still in the wilderness because ‘Lot’ is with you.
You need to retrace back your steps to where you left God and be reconciled to Him. In His presence, you will surely discern who you need and who you do not need. When Abraham came back to the place where he had built an altar for the Lord, he worshipped Him and it didn’t take long before he separated with Lot. God must have given him the wisdom because he was now in the right place. Immediately after separation the heavens opened.
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”~ Genesis 13:14-17 ESV
It’s important to examine yourself and look around you. Some people and habits may be hard to shake off especially friends and people close to you, but this could be a fatal trap for you. Don’t start scratching your head and wondering where you are going to start, seek the Lord and ask him to clear them for you. You will be surprised to see that God wants to deal with you, not the multitude. You are created for greatness and if you want it to manifest in your life, be ready to pay the price separation.
What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty” ~ 2 Corinth 6:15-18 ESV