Outside the Norm :: By John Lysaught

Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

When we think of normal, a lot of things come to mind; but what really stands out is, to me at least, that being normal dictates conforming to what the world says is normal. This is especially true of our faith versus the world. We in our faith to Christendom are seen as abnormal by sects and populations in the world. They want us to conform to their standards and not the Bible’s. They want us to bend and twist our faith to the world’s beliefs or break us completely.

Being conformed to the world is wrong. The world doesn’t offer what faith in God does. What the world offers is simple pleasures and selfishness. False idols abound, our children are being brainwashed in public schools to conform to the world, and anything closely related to Christian thought is being erased bit by bit.

God doesn’t want us to be conformed to this world. He wants us to be an uncommon people, conformed to His ways, the right ways. If this makes us abnormal, then I welcome this. I want what God has to offer and not man because the world says that freedom comes from humanistic beliefs, the common thought and norm of the world, while God offers true freedom in and through Him.

Satan is the orchestrator of this false doctrine, of course. Man is not smart enough to do this on their own but need a leader to follow down this destructive path of unrighteousness and hate of real Christians; and they found this in Satan, the father of lies. He is using weak vessels who profess his false doctrine we see today in pulpits around the country to do his bidding to destroy the Church from the inside out.

These false teachers and professors of faith will twist doctrine and teachings to conform to the humanistic beliefs of the world. They teach and preach without the backbone of biblical teachings as their foundation. The teachers of this false faith are employees of the Devil and are dedicated workers for him to bring havoc, so sinful living and actions are viewed as valid and normal practices.

Believers of the true truth need not conform to the attempts of Satan and his followers. It takes strength to hold fast to the truth of God. It takes strength to not waiver in our faith. It takes internal fortitude to stand up to those that want to destroy our faith, and, in the end, will make us more empowered in our faith and relationship with God.

While living in this world, we need to be strong. Our godly strength comes only from God Himself. Yes, we can garner support from others, but true strength comes from the Lord. He is our strength and shield against the world; and when we face adversity, it is God who protects and strengthens us to endure and overcome.

The world does not buy into this. They have other gods, such as left-leaning personalities and politicians, godless entertainers, and material goods. To submit to God is unfathomable to them because their gods have such a grip on them and offer them the worldly pleasures that they believe give them happiness. Satan, of course, is the perpetrator and is the god of their gods, but to follow the true God? Unthinkable.  Those of the world are so entwined in their worldly lives that they believe they have no need for the true and living God.

True happiness comes from God, not the world. The world will try to persuade otherwise by offering worldly pleasures and treasures, but our true treasure is in God and His ways, not the world’s. The world wants us to abandon our faith to conform to what they think is normal – things like abortion, gender confusion, unholy unions, etc., to lead us away from God and into their grips of disillusioned beliefs and values.

Because of this, we are hostile to them and their false foundational beliefs. We, as believers, stand for ideals that they cannot conceive as the right way to live. They frown upon us and mock us to try to silence us from speaking and living our lives in and for God. It’s as though we are being forced to hide our faith; but with God upholding us and giving us strength, we have nothing to fear from man because they don’t provide us with a way to heaven and have no power over our salvation.

Part of being outside the norm is the lack of acceptance of us outside the walls of our churches and homes. Because of our faith, we are uncommon to the world; and because of such, we are subjected to diverse trials and tribulations brought upon us from Satan and unsaved men and women. They want us to fall and fail so they can point out and mock us of our shortcomings to keep us at bay.

What we have and they don’t is hope in the true and only God. We cling tightly to the hope in God and the future we have with Him while the world’s hope is in worldly ideals. The world does not recognize the hope we have. They deny God and, therefore, are doomed to hell while we are heaven-bound to eternity with God.

Being outside of the norm gives us an unspeakable joy and peace through the Holy Spirit that the world just doesn’t understand, as stated in Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” So, what about the Holy Spirit?  He separates us from those who do not believe.

The Holy Spirit does not lead us down the path of destruction, but points us up towards heaven. In the middle of this world, trusting in the Holy Spirit’s ability will bring us a peace and a joy so that, even in the midst of a storm, the assurance of God’s love surrounds us like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day.

The world just can’t understand the peace and joy we hold. With the Holy Spirit being with us, we don’t have to stress out like the world does. We don’t have to worry about the unknown that the world does, and the Holy Spirit will uphold us in adversity so we can have an attitude of love that Jesus had towards those that came against Him.

Our faith takes us out of the norm of the world. We are abnormal to the world. We are marginalized by the world. This is awesome! Who, in their right mind as a Christian, would want to be considered normal to the world? I don’t, and you shouldn’t either. We are set apart from the world, and it’s okay to not be accepted by them. We shouldn’t desire or seek the approval of the world but should only seek and hold dear the approval of God Himself.