355. Set Apart or Set Aside?

“Sanctification,” Stan began, “is commonly referred to as being set apart for God’s intended purpose.”

“What do you mean by being set apart?” I asked.

“For me,” Stan replied, “it is being available to be used by and for God just as He intends in every area of my life.”

Continuing, he said, “Just as salvation resulted from God’s love, grace, and mercy through Christ’s finished work on the cross, I believe that sanctification is God’s work in and through me.”

“Does it just happen by saying that I want to be sanctified?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” Stan replied.  “I have a definite role to play, but I can’t sanctify myself any more than I could give myself salvation.”

“Just as I had to accept the free gift of salvation, I have to get myself out of God’s way so that He, through His Holy Spirit, can do exactly what He wants in and through me.  My role is choose for God to do what He wants in setting me apart for Him.”

“Is being set apart the same as being set aside?” I asked.

“Definitely not,” Stan replied.  “Oh, I can definitely choose to be set aside by choosing to just focus on myself and what I want to do.  It is certainly possible for me to be set aside from God’s intended purposes, but that is the exact opposite of being set apart for God’s intended purposes.”

“See the difference?” He continued.  “Being set aside from, versus being set apart for.”


For this is the will of God, your sanctification.  1 Thessalonians 4:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for the free gift of salvation so that I can look forward to spending eternity with you when my time here is done.  And thank you that you want for me to be sanctified in that I choose to be yours for your purposes in every aspect of my being for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity.  I confess that too often I choose my will over yours.  Please forgive me.  And please, Lord, lead and help me to follow you exactly where you want to take me in being set apart for your purposes.  Help me in not being set aside from what you want.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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