I Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light…
I feel different. I do not feel normal. I cannot accept random routine existence anymore. I am different. I am currently reading a book by Jennie Allen – Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul. After a long season of outpouring, the Lord has led me to a respite of infilling. Refueling, if you will. It is a time of feeding my heart, mind, and soul with His Word. I haven’t actually read an entire book in a while. Life just got too busy. I also try to stick to the Scriptures for myself and allow the Spirit of God to speak to me personally. It’s just a “me” thing. Though totally unrelated to her text and more of an afterthought in the story – it hits me. She says that she feels different. Different from other people. Different in cause and calling. Different in a way that is spiritually defining. The kind of different that challenges society and religion. Radical and reckless Jesus kind of different. Maybe one might even call it peculiar…
It’s funny how God can use something random to produce revelation in our life. If we just look for Him in everything there is certainty to find Him in most things. The revelation for me today is that “I feel different”. Misunderstood. Underestimated. Overlooked. Unwanted. Insignificant. Unworthy. Different looks a little “different” for everyone. It is human nature to want to fit in. To have friends. To feel accepted. To feel different than other people challenges conformity. It is of God but unwanted by most Christians hence the religious organization can cause our fires to grow dim, eyes and ears to scale over or the heart to grow cold. It’s not how it this whole relationship started but overtime through many challenges or simply habitual routine – it feels too difficult to keep going or even a bit monotonous so turning back to a normal life seems the way to go. This is not about backsliding at all. The love for God has not grown cold but our inferiority and insecurity about being “different” takes over. Different people challenge the world, but even more so the average Christian. The comfortable doer but seldom undone do not embrace this radical thinking because it might make them feel like less than the one Christ died for. Friend, you are called a peculiar person by God himself. We must learn to embrace feeling different rather than giving into indifference.
Exodus 19:5-6 (KJV) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Psalm 135:4 (KJV) For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
I love when the Old Testament and New Testament hold hands. Locking arms to secure us in the fact that God doesn’t lie or change His Mind. If He said it then, it will happen now. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “peculiar” means different from the usual or norm. It is derived from the Latin root “peculiaris” meaning “privately owned”. Digging even deeper into Strong’s Concordance, we find that in the Hebrew (used above) “segullah” means possession or property. You are chosen by God to be His Own. It makes you different than other people. It is defining. You have a new identity. You are in this world but not of this world. The more you express your allegiance to Christ and the Kingdom of God the more radical you become in the eye of other. To grab hold of confident hope and live by faith requires depending on what you hear and know about God rather than what you see and experience naturally on a daily basis. People will most certainly find this uncommon and some even weird.
Titus 2:13-15 (KJV) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
When our son was diagnosed with Stage 3/4 nasopharyngeal cancer at the age of 19, my world fell apart. The good life turned to a terrible tragedy in just a few short hours as the story unfolded. The nightmare that I pitied for others became my own. My role as good mother dissolved in the reality that I couldn’t save my son. I hadn’t protected him from this awful disease. Quickly the enemy offered me different scenarios that allowed this to happen. In the hours following his diagnosis as he slept, I stormed Heaven for some answers. We lived for the Lord. Our life filled with church, good works and service. My husband and I strived to be obedient and faithful Christians. Then in a day like no other, everything I thought I could rely on fell through. My heart shattered as if made of fragile glass. God gave me a promise that our son would like and not die. The Lord remained true to His Word. However, He never promised that I would return to a normal life. Ever since that time, I have felt different but did not realize it until today.
After three years of relying on God for my very next breath and that of our child, I tried to breathe on my own again. It’s not working. There are things that I know to be true about God that I must walk in daily to survive and thrive. The struggle is not always in following God but being different. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “peculiar” or “periousios” in Titus 2 suggests “costly, treasured, select and specially chosen”. It means “of one’s own possession”. My life is not my own. It is costly. I am treasure. God has selected me for a particular purpose. I am specifically chosen for a purpose and plan far greater than anything I can imagine. I must choose to engage in this journey by faith. I must accept being different. It helps to see that it is by His Design. It has the potential to push me closer and deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the One who I compose my life upon and consult for the way to go. It is not always going to be in accordance with man’s idea or opinion therefore it means abandoning the comfort of personal approval, affirmation or acceptance in order to achieve the supernatural in life. I must be willing to walk different, talk different and even live different contrary to public opinion to fully glorify God and live a surrendered life. After all, I am a peculiar people. I cannot love my natural life more than my spiritual life and find the Kingdom. I cannot expect to fit into society and surrender to Christ fully. It’s one or the other. I choose to be different not indifferent. I choose passion for His Promise over a permissive and passive life.
Jesus, thank you for showing me today that I am a peculiar people and that being different is part of Your Plan!
John 12:25 (KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
John 17:16 (KJV) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.