April 13, 2011

The Set-Apart Path

Good evening, blog world! 
I've been sifting through some various possible post topics, and I've finally decided to post about that which has been on my heart and mind most. 
But first, let me ask, have any of you heard of Eric and Leslie Ludy?
I wouldn't be surprised if you have- they've become more and more prominent as speakers for the cause of Christ, purity, and spiritual set-apartness. 
I first came across Leslie and her work Set Apart Femininity when I saw an Amazon listing on Polka Dot's sidebar. Both the title and, admittedly, the front's design (so much for never judging a book by its cover!) caught my eye and my curiosity. Let me tell you, this was nothing short of God's leading. So curious was I, after I couldn't find a copy to borrow anywhere, that I decided to buy a used one online for only a few dollars. In the meantime, I went and explored her sight (www.setapartgirl.com), and was so moved, convicted, and enthralled with what I read there, that I couldn't wait for the book to arrive. 
For some of you, such a title, description (and picture!) is a real turn off. I understand- who wants to wear skirts all the time and be super girly?! That's not what Christianity is about! 
You're right, and it's not.
However, the femininity that Leslie is writes on and the femininity that you have in mind are probably completely different things. Leslie is speaking of that purpose and heart that God has put in every woman, and that brand of set-apart, glowing, spiritual femininity that only a relationship and close walk with God can cultivate and create. 
It's a little less this:

And a little more this:
{image via, edited by me}
(Although a decent mix of both)
But that's not really what I want to touch on right now.
What I want to touch on is how God used her website, and her book, to show me how incorrectly I was viewing Christianity and my walk with God.
I've grown up in a Christian family, lived with Christian principles, and at a young age, gave my heart to the Lord.
But I have been living a "coffee-shop Christianity". 
That is, a selfish, comfy walk with God. The kind that reads the Bible in a coffee shop, leads a life only a bit more moral than normal teens, goes to Church on Sundays, and knows some Bible verses. 
I have not been leading a Set-Apart Christian walk: rather, a Christian walk that pours its all at the Saviour's feet, is willing to give its all up for Him who gave His all for us, and leaving the comfort of its couch to share the gospel with those who have no way to hear it, no matter how uncomfortable it is for the speaker. 
I was so struck by my own selfish views, and the shallow, lukewarm Christianity I've been displaying: the very same one that the Bible warns against, repeatedly. 
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit thee out of my mouth."- Revelation 3:15-16
I know that seems harsh, but it's true.
I was being satisfied with the bare minimum of Christianity, and, in the end, looking for what I could get out of it, not what I could give to Him. I was asking him repeatedly to take the reigns, yet unwilling to hand them over, and then becoming frustrated when I didn't see him working in my life!
This book has rewritten the way I look at the love of God. It redirected my eyes to the great sacrifice he made, in all his great love, for us. 
And I will be satisfied with the bar minimum no more.
I want to pour my all at his feet.
I want to walk in a set-apart fashion- that others might see Christ's light in me, and ask from what it stems.
I wish to forget myself, take up my cross daily, and follow him.
I want all of my joy to come from serving him.
I want to throw away the many comforts of my life and to go out and give the word of God to those who have never even known such luxuries. 
I want to be a Set Apart Girl.
{Image via, edited by me}
I know this seems radical- I mean, c'mon, I'm not a missionary or anything, am I? 
Actually, I am.
And anyone who names the name of Christ is. 
"Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:..."
Every day we are faced with a mission field- whether we live in suburbia or Africa. We are surrounded by the lost and struggling.
And God has commanded us to deny ourselves, become set-apart, stand alone, and show others the way to His arms. 
But that's not even the best part! 
"...and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

{Image via}
That's the best part. 

I cannot encourage you enough to check out the set apart girl website.
Also, I can't stress how good it would be for you to listen to these videos.


Well, loves, I hope you are all able to truly say you belong to Christ, and if not, then I implore you to secure yourself in him. He is a great and powerful God, and greatly to be praised. 


KatySue Pillsbury said...

I love her books! I also just found her webzine and bought her book The Lost Art of True Beauty and loved it! I'm slowly making chnages, and it hasn't been easy!

It seems so unreachable a goal at times, but with Gods help anything is possible!

The internship at thier campus sounds AMAZING and I'm trying to comvince God it's a really good idea for me to go, but so far I'm not getting the go ahead! =P

Though the Scared Singlness book was not my favorite. I don't feel called to the extremes she laid out in the book, so was a little lost as to how I could apply the principles in my life, but God and I are working it out!

Though I also don't have the hoards of males running after me that I have to learn to say no to either.....but maybe that's just me! ;-)

Polka Dot said...

I'm so glad you liked this book! I think it's definitely one of those top-five life-changing books that every girl should read. I SO love how she puts the focus entirely on Jesus, instead of the "you're beautiful inside and out, just the way you are!" that Christian books give girls. She presents the truth: the fact is, we're really messed up, BUT we have Jesus, and when we commit our lives to Him, we ARE purified. I don't know if you saw my post about it, but here it is: http://brightshininglights.blogspot.com/2010/07/set-apart-femininity-by-leslie-ludy.html

Anyways... awesome post. It makes me want to hug you.
And you're making me want to read it again.

Lolei said...

I don't know whether you're into this kinda thing but I'm doing a photograph competition on my blog :) thought you could be interested xxxx

Grace said...

She is an amazing author- a little repetitive at times, but they're all things that need to be repeated and *learned*, not just heard.
What's ironic about the Sacred Singleness book so far for me, is the fact that I am entirely able to relate her experiences of dependency and focus on something besides God, but for me it has nothing to do with relationships, but a personal struggle of mine. Reading it has brought the struggle to light as something ruling my heart, and I'm applying many of the same steps she lists to resolve this other conflict! :O
I never really even thought of how utterly ugly we are inside- but it made sense with very little pondering. I KNEW something didn't sound right about those SELF-esteem pep talks people have always shot out at me as a teenage girl. It was a truly amazing, God-focused book. I wish I could hug Leslie and Eric.

Rick_D_Anderson said...

Wow, this is really a post i can relate to (yes even though i am a guy we DO have symilar feelings... just in different quantities). This post was a kick in the gut, in a good way ya know? I had a very symilar experiance when i went to the church of my hero Britt Merrick, he spoke of a holy discontentment, of wanting more and more of Christ, and it turned my world on its head when I fully grasped the meaning.
Here is the link to that sermon if anyone has the time and is interisted: http://vimeo.com/17749485
I struggle daily to give myself to Jesus, but i never regret it. :)
Thank you for posting this grace, it was a breath of fresh air :)