Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the desert, but you must not go very far.” (Exodus 8:28)
This is a crafty statement from the lips of Pharaoh, the evil tyrant. If the poor Israelite slaves had to leave Egypt, he would bargain with them so they would “not go very far,” keeping them within the reach of his terror and within sight of his spies. In the same manner, the world today hates the nonconformity and dissidence of Christians. It would like for us to be a little more compromising and not take our ideas to the extreme.
Ideas such as being dead to the “foolish thing of the world” (1 Corinthians 1:27) and being “buried with Christ” (Romans 6:4) are ones that unbelievers’ carnal minds treat with ridicule. Thus, God’s word teaches that these truths are nearly universally neglected – even condemned. Worldly wisdom promotes a path of compromise and speaks of moderation. According to this carnal thinking, purity is considered to be quite desirable as long as we do not take it too far. And truth is a prudent course to follow as long as we don’t denounce error too harshly. The world declares, “Sure, be spiritual by all means, but don’t deny yourself a little worldly fun now and then. After all, what’s the point of criticizing something when it is so fashionable and everybody is doing it?”
Many confessing Christians have fallen to this cunning advice but have suffered eternal loss as a result. Once we commit to fully following the Lord, we must immediately go into the wilderness of separation, leaving the carnal world of Egypt behind. We must leave its wisdom, its pleasures, and its religion as well, going far away to the place the Lord has called His sanctified ones.
When our city is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When a dangerous plague is spreading, we cannot be too far away from contamination. The farther from a deadly snake the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. May the trumpet call be sounded to all true believers: “Come out from them and be separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Copied from Look Unto Me: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon.