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Time to Separate

Updated: May 6, 2023

By Dr. Shana Wise

There are times in our lives when we need to separate from other people, situations, and our feelings and emotions.

We can find many stories in the bible where we see people separating from each other:

Mother’s separating from their children.

Moses’ (baby) mother, Samuel’s mother, and Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mentors separate from their mentees.

Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist and his disciples, and Jesus, and his disciples (death, burial, resurrection).

Family members and friends separate from each other.

Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, David and his brothers, David and Johnathan, Jesus' disciples (Jerusalem)

Separating from our past lifestyle, feelings, emotions, and attitudes

Abram's name was changed to Abraham. Moses growing up in the Egyptian culture had to change to being the leader of Israel. Judah and his attitude towards Tamar and Joseph. Jesus’ disciples and everyone that he has touched. Saul’s name was changed to Paul.

When it is time to separate, it is because God is doing something in our lives. Many of the people listed above had a certain type of calling in their life and to fulfill their destiny, they had to separate.

For others of us, God must separate us due to disobedience and sin. Some examples of this are Adam and Eve getting banished from the Garden. Cain was marked after he killed Abel. King Saul lost the throne, King Nebuchadnezzar was sent away from his kingdom for a while because of pride. Moses not entering the promised land because he hit the rock. Israel splitting into two kingdoms. The Israelites disobeyed God and were sent into exile.

One story that comes to mind when I think about separation is the story of Hagar. It is found in Genesis chapter 16 and chapter 21:8-21. Hagar was the slave to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah decided for Hagar to sleep with Abraham because they didn’t have any children (even though the Lord said they would have one). Once Hagar became pregnant, she started to treat Sarah with contempt, and this made Sarah turn around and treat her so badly that Hagar ran away. The angel of the Lord told her to go back home and submit to Sarah and she did.

In this part of the story, Hagar decided to separate herself by running away. She was immature, pregnant, and alone. The Lord knew that she was not in a good place and that she needed to go home for the well-being of herself and her child. She also needed to submit and be respectful to Sarah.

How many times have we “run away” or separated ourselves because of immaturity and disobedience?

What lessons have we learned during the time of separation caused by our own doing?

In Genesis Chapter 21, we find Hagar and her son Ismael teasing Isaac. Sarah could not take that type of disrespect and she made Abraham send Hagar and Ismael away.

Genesis 21:14-21 (NIV), Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. 17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So, she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.

In verse 15 Hagar separated herself from her son and cried because she thought he was going to die. Yet when Ismael cried, the angel of God spoke to her.

This is a great teaching point for mothers, there will be times when we need to separate from our children, and they need to cry out (to God) for themselves.

When Hagar heard God speak, he opened her eyes to a well of water. During times of separation, disobedience or not, God is still speaking, and he wants to reveal himself and his plans for us.

Hagar gave the name El Roi to God after he spoke to her: Genesis 16:13 “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” In Genesis 21 God promised to make her son a great nation.

Like Hagar, God will be with us in our separation period. During these times, we need to intentionally be listening to God’s voice and his instructions. This time can be a time of repentance, rest, healing, more intimacy with God, clarity, and the list goes on.

Watch the Video

Listen to the Podcast from the Chief Women Arise Clubhouse discussion:

About the Author

About the Author

Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor that founded and oversees Wise Choice Ministries with her husband Deacon Ron Wise. She is also the CEO and founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network. Dr. Wise is the author of Women’s Devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and the Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives and demonstrate it through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married and has four children.

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Acts of Intercession

The Impact of Your Election

Basic Ministry Training Manual

Chief Women Arise

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