“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
God has never wanted His people to live in the heathen world. It was while Israel was in Egypt that He took them out of their land. In the verse above, it says that God “will take you from among the heathen.” God says in 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” When God chose to name the institution where His people were to come and assemble, He chose to call it a church, which means, “a local called-out assembly.” Much of God’s Word deals with His people being judged because they went to the world, or teaching His people the importance of coming out of the world.
When a person decides to get right with God, they will have to come out from the world or separate from the influences that pulled them away from God. In Ezekiel 36, God shows what changes in the believer when they choose to come out from the heathen. Let me show you the natural changes that come from separation.
First, there is an innate desire for God’s Word. Verse 25 says, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you…” Water in the Scriptures has always represented God’s Word. You will find that when you get away from the wrong influences that you will quickly develop a desire to read God’s Word.
Second, the desires of your heart will change when you come out of the world. Verse 26 says that God will give you “a new heart.” It is amazing how you will desire God’s ways when you leave the world. You can’t run in the world and have a desire for the things of God at the same time. When you leave the world, your desires for the things of the world will dissipate, and your passion for the ways of God will grow.
Third, your spirit will change when you leave the world. God promises to also give you a “new spirit” when you leave the heathen. The only reason someone has a bad spirit about people being involved in the LORD’s work is because they are spending time in the world. The more hateful a believer becomes about people involving themselves in the LORD’s work only reveals that they have been walking in the world. A person who is right with God will never have an antagonistic spirit towards someone who wants to do more for God.
Fourth, the empowering of the Holy Spirit is a result of leaving the world to draw close to God. In verse 27, God says that He would “put my spirit within you.” You cannot be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit and run in the world. You will find it much easier to crucify your flesh and yield to the Spirit when you separate from the worldly crowd.
Fifth, a great desire to do right will be created when you leave the world. Verse 27 continues, “…and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments…” One of the glaring results of a person getting right by leaving the world is that they will do anything it takes to do right.
Finally, a great satisfaction of your heritage is the result of separating from the world. Verse 28 says, “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers…” The only reason people try to correct their heritage is because they’ve let the world persuade them of how hateful and terrible their heritage is. You will be honored to have the heritage of your fathers when you come out of the world to get close to God.