Let’s dive right into the Word and start with Jeremiah 1:5 where God says: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart.”
Let’s think about these words for just a moment . . . Before you were born, I set you apart!
I’d like everyone to hold out their hands in front of your face. Notice how your thumb is set apart from your fingers! Now look at your thumbprint, and know that you are the only one in history, the only one out of 6 billion people alive today who has ever had your thumbprint. Even if you were an identical twin, you would have a different thumbprint. Truly your thumbs are just one example of your uniqueness and a reminder that you have been set apart.
God himself says you are set apart. When we study the words, “set apart” we see synonyms such as unique, one-of-a-kind, special, rare, precious, and holy.
Notice that being set apart does not mean weird or strange. Nor does it mean that you are an outcast. I want you to be assured that whenever the Bible speaks of being set apart, it is always with a higher calling in mind. It is a call to be holy.
So what does it mean to be holy? The Bible often refers to God’s people as saints. The word saint comes from the Greek word hagios, which can also be translated as “holy.” When we say that God is holy, it describes the fact that God is completely different than all of his creation. It describes how he is truly set apart. When that same word is used to describe his followers, it means that we have made a choice to follow God.
Now let’s see more of what God chooses for you and I by looking at Genesis 1:26.
Genesis 1:26-30 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
This passage is full of so many truths about how God set us apart from all other creation. He told us to have dominion over every living thing on earth. We are not called to live based on our natural instincts like animals, but rather we are set apart and made in God’s image. As such, we are called to live a higher life – we are called to use our God given mind, talents and dreams in a way that is pleasing to God.