Conforming to the World :: by Grant Phillips

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt the golden calf resulted because of them allowing Egyptian influences to seep back into their lives. On the route from Egypt to the Promised Land many died because of this stain on their hearts.

Israel was corrupted by Israeli men indulging in sexual immorality with the women of Moab (Numbers 25). They could thank Balaam for this atrocity against God (Numbers 31:16). Many people had to die because of Balaam’s greed.

God expects those who are His to conform “to the image of His Son,” and not conform “to the pattern of this world.”

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29 NIV)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

The word “conform” basically means “follow the crowd” or “imitate.” Many of the Israelites got in trouble because they followed the crowd instead of God. Our minds are far too often set on the things of this world, but the Scripture says to those who belong to God, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Hebrews 13:14 NLT)

Let’s face it. Our society is neck deep in following the crowd. We want to wear what everyone else is wearing. We want to look like others look. We want to listen to what others listen to, even if it is trash (Rap music, for example). However, we who are Christ’s are not of the world. We should not allow society’s whims to influence us away from our God.

As a society we are also a very gullible people. We’ll believe a lie and oppose the truth as easily as we would turn down healthy food over junk food.

We no longer think independently, but allow those who seek to influence our lifestyle to lead us around by the nose. Nearly everything coming from the television is a prime example. We are like zombies.

Millions of people recently voted for a Presidential candidate, believing every lie that drooled forth from those lying criminal lips. The candidate’s character, legal issues and political threat were of no consequence. A smile won them over with the right words smoothly buttered to taste. Thank God, they lost.

God, our Creator and Judge, calls for repentance. He says we have sinned and need to be redeemed, but we push Him away and listen instead to the father of lies. Only a few acknowledged that need and came to the Redeemer, but alas, even many of them are not allowing themselves to be conformed to their Savior and Lord. Instead, most are allowing themselves to be conformed to the world and its deceit.

Christians, who are conforming to the world, will not lose their soul, but they will lose rewards that could have been theirs to place at the feet of the Savior. Others conforming to the world will lose everything, even their soul.

Many of our church gatherings today are nothing more than stage productions put on by amateur and/or professional performers. It is no wonder so many Christians are conforming to the world than “to the image of His Son.” When there is nothing more than mildewed bread and stale smelly water, the sheep starve. When there is nothing left but locoweed to feed on, the flock gets a little crazy.

You would think that in a land where Bibles are so plentiful that we send thousands to other countries; we would be strong disciples (students) of the Word in this country. Unfortunately, we are probably more ignorant than we have ever been concerning this holy book, we call our Bible. Why is that?

We have allowed the influences of the world, and there are many, to draw us away from what is really important; i.e. to know what God is saying to us. What has it gotten us? Corruption, immorality, perversion, infant murder is a very short list of satanic accomplishments because of the Church conforming to the world. That isn’t to say there are none who resist conforming to the world. It is to say they are few in comparison.

None of us who know Christ as our Savior and Lord are perfect, but we need to draw a line in the sand between the world’s influences on our lives. What did the Scripture above say?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

We’ll never start making wise decisions, even about the ‘little’ things, until we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, and that can only come by listening to God and not the world.

Think about this. We cannot share the Word until we know the Word. Notice that I did not say “force feed” the Word, because that is what some Christians try to do. You will not find anywhere in the Bible where anyone tried to force the Gospel upon another. It was always shared. Even Jesus, who is God, shared it, but He never forced it upon anyone.

Now the big question, are we even sharing it? If we conform to the world view we will be either afraid or embarrassed to do so, maybe both. If we conform to the world, we will act like the world. That isn’t what God expects of His children. If we are truly in Christ and have been conforming to the world’s lifestyle, we will be pricked in our heart because we know it is just not right. Now that we know, we can all do something about it.

Obama talked about change, and brother did we ever get it. Clinton talked about no change, just status quo. Thank God we didn’t go down that rabbit hole. Now let us consider real change. Let us leave the status quo of worldly influences in our lives and go for a positive change orchestrated by God, living for Him and not allowing ourselves to be conformed to this world.