Holy and Set Apart

By Valerie Yanay


As we begin this new year, still at war, we are reminded of the holiness of God and are taking this time to reflect on what it means to be holy.  


The root meaning of Kadosh -קדוש, holy in Hebrew, is to consecrate and set apart. As believers in Yeshua, we are called to be “set apart for His glory.” What does this look like practically in our everyday lives?


Let’s begin by taking a look at Romans 12:2, where the Apostle Paul encourages us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This transformation is not merely an outward change, but through renewing our minds, something that flows from deep devotion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Being set apart means daily conforming to the image of Yeshua and living a life dedicated to following His teachings and love. In Romans 8:29, we have an invitation to live a life of holiness by being conformed to the image of Yeshua. 


For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” 


1 Peter 2:9 further reinforces our calling to live holy lives by reminding us that we are a chosen people, a holy nation. This extraordinary reality stems from our intimate relationship with the Creator. We are called to proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. As we dedicate our lives to walking from Glory to Glory, we strive to reflect His holiness. “Be holy as I am holy,” says the Lord. We submit our lives and thoughts to His holiness, and bring His Kingdom to earth—Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.


Israel was also a nation called by God to be “set apart.” Israel has a distinct calling to be a light to the nations, a living demonstration of God’s holiness. Though Israel disobeyed and turned her heart, again and again, God never abandoned His beloved firstborn. He remains faithful to His promises and His promises to Israel are forever.  


Thus says the LORD, who made the sun to give light by day, who destined the moon and the stars to give light by night, who lifts up the sea and makes its waves roar, whose name is the LORD of hosts: If these laws cease before me, says the LORD, the race of Israel also shall cease, forever, to be a people before me.” – Jeremiah 31:35-36


While Israel remains at war, and much of the world has turned against Israel, believers in Yeshua, are called to stand alongside the people of Israel in the conviction that all God’s promises to His people will be fulfilled, just like we believe God’s promises to the Church, even if the fulfillment of both seem humanly impossible. God also remains faithful to us as believers despite our sins. 


We have a covenant-keeping God and in Romans 11:29 we see that God’s calling for Israel is irrevocable.  


This is a crucial time for believers in Yeshua to stand in prayer for faith, for those who don’t believe in the legitimacy of Israel or that God’s promises to Israel are forever. That the body of Messiah reflects the image of Yeshua to those around them and to the people of Israel. That Israel fulfills her calling to be a light to the nations. Nothing will hinder Yeshua from fulfilling His promises to Israel and it is the calling of believers to stand with Him through prayer, faith, and help in any way that they can. Let’s pray for true peace in the hearts of those around us. 


As we consecrate our lives, committing to living holy lives, a transformation begins to take place that influences those around us as we radiate His light and holiness. Our behavior and speech reflect Him whether we are at work, school, or with friends or family. It is in God’s nature to be faithful. He is faithful to Israel. He is faithful to the Church. He is faithful to a life dedicated to Him. Let’s remember it and proclaim it every morning. 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

May we hold on to our faith, even when it seems impossible. God is looking for those who are willing and ready to set themselves apart and influence others. 


Our lives, words, and actions must reflect the holiness of God in our hearts, souls, and spirits to the Creator and radiate with hope and His light. Let’s be ready because Yeshua is returning to a bride whose heart is committed to Him.  


As we embrace the call to be “set apart” for God’s glory, may our daily lives bear witness to the inner transformation that God is working within us. May we be passionate for Him. In a world where faith is lacking and people are hopeless, let us, as believers, emit the fragrance of faith and hope in the Messiah that also influences and changes those around us. 

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