“Then Moses said to Him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?'” Exodus 33:15-16
I remember when I was a little girl, one of the most important things to me was that I “fit in” with everyone else. I tried hard, but could never quite get there. It took many, many years to discover that I was not the strange misfit I thought I was, but was instead uniquely made by God (just like everyone else). And yet, in some deep place in me there remained the desire to fit in. And if I couldn’t fit in, then at least don’t make me stand out.
What compels young girls today to abuse their bodies in an attempt to achieve a ridiculously thin look? Or a woman to get multiple surgeries and injections in her frantic effort to defy the aging process? The need to fit in with the world’s view of beauty.
What is underneath the corporate ladder climbing that makes a man a stranger to his family? The need to fit in with the world’s view of success.
What causes a woman to hide the fact that, despite all outward appearances, her marriage, her family, her world, is quietly falling apart? The need to fit in with the world’s view of womanhood.
Moses understood that fitting in with the people around them was far from God’s heart for His people.
“I will make a distinction between My people and your people.” Exodus 8:23
“Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” Exodus 11:7
“And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi 3:17-18
Beloved, God’s heart is to make a distinction between you and those who do not know Him, and to have you live by a different set of definitions.
A redefined beauty…
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1Peter 3:2-4
A redefined path to success…
“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” Proverbs 16:2-3
A redefined womanhood…
“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Throughout His word, we are called to be different. In the New Testament, God’s people grieve, pray, fast and war differently. We don’t worry about what others worry over, and we don’t chase what they chase. His heart remains consistently insistent that His people be distinguished from all other people.
So stand up, stand out and refuse to fit in. Live a life of distinction.