Love of Art
The love of art also must be separated. How many Christian homes there are whose decorations or adornments do not speak for God, but for pagan licentiousness of godless display. This quality of taste may be separated in the matter of personal dress or adorning from that which speaks for the world and self rather than the meek and lowly Jesus. We may dedicate these testes so that they may be witnesses for Christ. The walls of our chambers shall speak for Him, and our very wardrobe shall e like the phylacteries of Hebrew garments, written over by the sacred characters which declare the glory of our Lord.
Then our various talents and the qualities that bring us success in the occupations of life may be separated so that we shall be strong in every direction, not for self or earthly glory, but for our Master's service and our highest usefulness. There is nothing that may speak more for God than refinement, good taste and preeminent talents.
God wants these things inscribed with "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 39:40). Blessed be His name for many a lovely woman and many a gifted man who have laid all the attractions of their person and their mind on His altar. May the day be hastened when all that is lovely in the endowments of nature and the gifts of His infinite taste and wisdom shall become garlands for His brow and attributes to lay at His feet to whom belong the beauty and the glory, the riches and the honor, the praise and the love of the whole creation!
Separate Emotions and Affections
Are the heart's emotions and affections separated? There still remains the most interesting class of our mental qualities, namely, the emotions and affections of the heart. These, we have seen, belong to the human soul.
Above them all is the attribute of love. It is instinctive in some form in every human heart. While there is a divine love which is imparted by the Spirit, the soul is endued by the Creator with a strange and exquisite power of loving. Like the tendrils of a living vine, its cords must reach out in some direction.
How necessary it is that our love should be separated for it is natural for the heart, like the vine, to cling to some rotten and ruined wall, from which it must be detached to save it from destruction. Who is there that has reached the high and heavenly place in the consecrated life who does not look back, in the very beginning of his or her progress, to a lonely grave where the heart's first idols were buried beneath the Cross of Jesus, and it died to that which was most dear to every natural instinct and affection?
The path of holiness with us all began at Mount Moriah, in the altar of Isaac, and the sacrifice of our hearts. It is on the same glorious mount that the majestic temple still rises above the spot where the heart in consecration first gave its all to God.
Built on the Altar of Sacrifice
God loves to build His temples still on the site of the altar of sacrifice. It is not that He takes delight in wrenching our affections, but these objects of love must frequently are draining our heart's very life and must be severed like the succulent growth of a plant, if it is ever to bring forth fruit. Happy are they who, before they unite their hearts to any objects, first learn the mind and will of God and save themselves from a broken heart. It is not necessary that we should be torn from everything we love, if we first learn the mind and will of God.
This is separation. This also is dedication, to give the mind of God and ever to give Him the supreme place in its affections.
~A. B. Simpson~
(continued with # 9)