The Bible tells us not to conform to the patterns of this world. Too many times we find ourselves doing things we would not normally do; the reason being, someone told us to do it or someone influenced us or because we are told that is what people normally do. But what if it is the wrong thing? What if it is out of our character? What if it is against God’s Word? What if it will lead us to destruction? Who sets the standards of how we are supposed to be and live in this world?
One of the things the Bible tells us to do is die to ourselves, that is, the fleshly sinful nature. We do not follow the crowd if it is going against God, we do not do things just because others are doing it. We die to self. It is one of the most difficult things to do because there is a lot of external influences. Conforming is the easy way.
Following Jesus costs us our earthly desires.
And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23.
Why did He say that? It is because we cannot serve Him and serve the enemy. We have to choose.
That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-24.
When we die to self we are no longer governed by the flesh; we put the flesh into subjection to the Word of God. We are no longer slaves to sin, we become Spirit led. We stand for what is right no matter the cost.
We die with Christ and rise with Christ, and when we do, we begin bearing much fruit.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24.
We present our bodies as living sacrifice to God. We do everything for God’s glory. We look straight ahead. We know who we are, we know where we are going. We become unstoppable.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2.
Who then can separate us from the love of God?
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the power of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.
We have nothing to fear in this world. When we know the truth, we can be who God purposed us to be. We will not be swayed, we will stand firm. When we conform, we push who we are aside and do things to please others. Yet, we are called to please God. We are to live by God’s standards. God’s Word governs our life.
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