“So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.”
(Acts 18:18)

Paul “had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.”

Beth Moore first brought this to my attention in her bible study, “A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place.” She asks the question, “Why would God think it was important for us to know that Paul stopped by the barbershop?”

Gotta love Beth!

So..Why WAS this important? Paul had been ministering in Corinth for about a year and a half. Corinth was a hub of corruption and sexual immorality. It reeked of temptation and ungodly influence.

And Paul went into this situation with eyes wide open. Why? Because the Lord God sent him to Corinth and because he listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

It is apparent through verse 18 , that Paul had taken the Nazarite vow before traveling into the immoral world of Corinth. The Nazarite vow was a voluntary vow used to separate someone (consecrate them) to the Lord for a specific time. This Old Testament law is described in Numbers 6. One of the requirements was that the individual allowed no razor to come upon his head until “the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord.” (Numbers 6:5)

Why would I bother to point this out?

Because Paul knew he must be consecrated to God before and during the time he dwelt among the corruption and immorality of the world. He was wise enough to listen to the prompting of the Lord to enter his battleground strategically.

And so must we.

People need the Lord. We have the answers they are searching for. But it is VITAL that we reflect Jesus, not the world.

Like Paul, we must be set apart for Him.

Listen to the gentle voice of the Master. Let Him reveal to you how you might consecrate yourself to Him – not by religious laws, but by obeying His voice in the things He requires of you.

Ask yourself, “What is it about me that lets the world know I am set apart for Jesus?”

“You will be My people and I will be your God,” saith the Lord.

Father, this was so difficult to write about. It isn’t easy to stand apart in our faith. It isn’t easy to set ourselves up for rejection. At least that is what Satan whispers in our ears. But You, O Lord, You are mighty in our midst. Your Word is sweeter that honey and You promise to dwell among us and within us as we consecrate ourselves to You. Forgive us for playing games with our faith, especially during the days in which we live. I long to be a sweet aroma to You and the fragrance of Jesus to a hurting world. Help me, Lord. I love you.