Catherine Bergeron is a phenomenal coach who works in Sherbrooke, Quebec, up in Canada. Recently, she made a statement that stimulated my thinking. You are not set aside, you are set apart. What does that mean?
“Set apart Paul and Barnabas for the ministry I have called them to”
There are times in life when opportunities dry up. My social media feed is full of influencers doing important stuff that I wish I could be part of. Honestly, I can be jealous. The stage isn’t mine, the voice isn’t mine, and I don’t know if it ever will be. There is a bitter tasting pie called humble pie. We consume it for survival, not for joy.
The scriptures tell two stories. Set aside and set apart. Set aside are those who have derailed their leadership, their influence, their life, their calling because of some sin, or some evil. Cain, Esau, Saul, Jeroboam, Judas, Demas. Men who had the chance to leave a legacy that would impact humanity for the positive. Their choices sidelined them, changed their legacy, destroyed their ministry. Can you imagine Judas? Miracle working Judas. Demon exorcizing Judas? Oh course not because the exorcist became possessed, the miracle worker gave in to the carnal man, and history remembers merely the suicide of a guilt-ridden betrayer.
Others were set apart. Set apart on the face of it isn’t much better. Moses in the desert, David in the cave watching another man poop, (sorry mom, that’s what happened), Elijah mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, Paul languishing in prison for 2 years waiting trial, wasting time and wasting talent. But set apart, not set aside.
God’s special instruments don’t always get daily use. Specialized tools are not hammers. But when called upon, the “set apart” don’t tell the set aside story. They step into their moment and deliver nations, proclaim to Kings, and raise up future prophets and priests, write prison epistles. They aren’t set aside, they are set apart.
Reminding myself today I may be set apart, but I am not set aside.