Make a Distinction

Learn to distinguish between light and darkness early in your walk with the Lord. He has separated the two.

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Have you ever had to make a distinction between two things, between light or darkness? Or, perhaps, between good and bad or holy and unholy?

Moses summoned Aaron, as he was being called into his priestly role and ministry.  In ministry, we are encouraged to call what is holy, holy, and what is dark, dark.  There must be a distinction made early in our ministry, so people know where we stand on things.  I see this principle here in the story.

Moses asked Aaron to prepare the sacrificial offerings, one for himself then one for the people.  He then adds, “For today the Lord will appear to you.”  (Leviticus 9: 4b NIV)  

So Aaron does what he is told and then: “Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting.  When they came out; they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.  Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering.  When all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.”  (Leviticus 9: 23-24 NIV)

  • Preparation is needed to prepare for the glory of the Lord.  It begins with purifying our hearts.
  • There is a holiness that we must honor, when God shows up.

As New Testament people of God, I sometimes fear we have negated that honor of a Holy God we serve.  Yes, we know Jesus as our friend, and that’s good, but we forget that God is holy and He requires a separation between clean and unclean.  In that Old Testament covenant, He said, “You must distinguish between the holy and the common between the unclean and clean.”  (Leviticus 10: 10 NIV) 

There were certain restrictions and rules given that the High Priests had to obey.  Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, did not obey them, so what resulted was death to them.  The scripture says, “They offered unauthorized fire before the Lord; contrary to His command.”  (Leviticus 10: 1 NIV) 

This seems harsh to me, within the grace theology that I embrace.  To help me in my confusion, I looked down in my Study Bible and it said this:  “The new community had to be made aware that they existed for God; not vice versa.”

I was made aware that I exist for God.  This is what the Lord spoke of when He said, “Among those who approach me I will show Myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.”  (Leviticus 10: 3 NIV)  

God still gives us instructions, today, so we obey Him.  Boundaries and discipline are good and we need them both.  As Jesus is sending out the disciples, He is setting some guidelines for them to follow.  Here are some of them:

  • Do not be afraid of the devil and his demons.
  • “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”  (Matthew 10: 27)  
  • A holy fear of God is good.  He is God, revere Him.
  • “Do you not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  (Matthew 10: 34 NIV)  

This verse seems difficult because it sounds like it contradicts that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  Jesus comes to bring peace—peace between the believer and God, and peace among men.  Yet, the result of Jesus coming brought conflict—between Jesus Christ and the antichrist, between light and darkness, between Christ’s children and the devil’s children.

This conflict often occurs even between family members.  His point is, we have to love God more than our own family.  Our allegiance and obedience to Him, must be a priority in our life.

Not everyone will accept our view and beliefs.  There is a cost of following Jesus, there is a cross we will have to bear, of maybe not being liked or not having the popular opinion on things.

The key to representing Him well is this:  When opposition comes, “Offer a cup of cold water for them to drink, but don’t throw it in their face.”  (Matthew 10: 42, Emphasised)

“Whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  (Proverbs 14: 31b NIV)  Remember, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”  (Proverbs 23: 18 NIV) 

Learn to distinguish between light and darkness early in your walk with the Lord. He has separated the two. People will know where you stand on some issues, by not even having to explain or defend yourself.

(Leviticus 9-10, Matthew 10: 26-42, Proverbs 23, Paraphrased) 


Standing And Making A Distinction,

Mary Beth Pecora


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on

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