And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
I've heard all of my life from a variety of people how they refused to "conform" to various fashion trends or social norms. In fact, while I've usually been one who tries to do what society expects of me and typically have no problem submitting to authority, I have on occasion been determined not to get swept up by the latest fad or craze.
People who say they are nonconformists, are typically viewed as rebels, aren't they? What would you say then, if I told you that according to the Bible, God wants us to be such? Of course, as usual, God's definition is quite different than man's definition. Here is the difference: Our definition of nonconformity is "me"-focused, God's definition is God-focused. In other words, when God says not to conform, He really means to conform ... to His way, forsaking all else. We and the "me" are left out of the equation.
Why should we forsake the world's thinking and conform to God's ways? First of all, as Christians, we do owe God for the price He paid for our sins in order to allow us to attain eternal life in heaven with Him. The previous chapters of Paul's letter to the Romans attests to this debt. Secondly, if we seek God rather than the things of this world, we will eventually figure out just what exactly God put us here for. Each of us was created with our own unique talents and abilities for a specific role to be carried out on this earth for God's Kingdom. If we don't transform our minds to God's way of thinking, we will miss out on the very purpose of our lives.
How can we transform our minds to learn God's will? Maintaining a daily relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading, and attempt to apply God's word to our lives is the only way. All of these things combined with attending a church and being connected to a group of like-minded believers is the only way. Singing praise songs won't do it. Attending church once a week won't cut it. Prayer and "sensing" God's presence can't do it. Bible reading cannot be left out. Unfortunately, I believe that statistics say most Christians do neglect this most important part of their relationship with God.
So now, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge to be a nonconformist to this world but be a conformer to God's ways, as the Bible asks us to do as a mere "reasonable" service (Romans 12:1 KVJ) for God?
- To what are you conforming your life to? Be honest in your evaluation.
- How is your prayer life? your bible study? Are you renewing your mind daily?
- What are you doing in your local church to accomplish God's plan in your life?
- What would that good, acceptable and perfect will of God look like for your specific passions and skillset?
- What step are you going to take today?