Last week I wrote about Genesis 1 and the role of memory and history as the foundation that creates a solid footing for growth in Christian maturity. Another feature, or theme of Genesis 1 is separation.
In the creation account found in Genesis 1, God makes a habit of separating things. On the first day of creation, He creates light and then separates it from the darkness. The text says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:3–4; emphasis added).
Then, on the second day, God creates the expanse in the sky (what we understand to be the firmament). In doing this, the Bible says that God separates the waters above and the waters beneath. The text says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.’ And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space ‘sky'” (Gen. 1:6; emphasis added).
On day four, God created the luminaries (sun, moon and stars). The text, once again, says, “Then God said, ‘Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from night […] God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from darkness” (Gen 1:14 and 17–18; emphasis added).
What is the significance of all this separation business in the creation account? I think it’s simple really. When life has no boundaries, things are chaotic and hectic. For God to bring order to chaos, He has to create boundaries; He must put things in their proper place.
You know as humans, we have difficulty with boundaries? Did you know that God wishes to create boundaries in our lives so that we can have more order and less chaos? Do you feel like things are chaotic? Firm up your boundaries.
I love my job here in Haiti. I love it so much that often times I unintentionally let it spill over into areas of my life where it doesn’t belong. This created a bad situation for me and my family. My kids and wife felt my absence. My stress levels were too high and my anxiety was controlling me rather than me controlling it. I needed order. I needed boundaries. I needed separation. So, this August I made the decision that I wouldn’t do any email on the weekends. I firmed up a boundary to being order to what was budding into an unwanted chaos.
The biggest thing that God wants to separate out in our lives is sin. There are behaviors, attitudes, and even thoughts that we have that are sinful. God wants to separate us from those things. The one things he doesn’t want us to be separate from is His presence and His love.
Paul says, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?[…]No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Rom. 8:25 and 37).
Are you courageous enough to allow God make room in your life for his love by separating out the things that prevent him from being entirely in control? Let him bring order to chaos via separation, just like in Genesis 1.