Be not Conformed to this World (Romans 12:2)
Conformity Leads to Complacency
What does it mean to be conformed to the world? I understand conformity to mean adapting to patterns and customs that the world system orchestrates.
However, the danger of this kind of adherence to this structure and standard is that it leaves God out of its setup and operation and that premise permeates the systematic yokes of conformity to the world.
“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” (Romans 12:2 KJV).
This verse cautions, counsels, admonishes, and encourages us not to yield to what the world defines as a model person apart from God, which exclude His precepts and principles. But, to turn towards His Word and Spirit to make the necessary changes we desperately need to renew our minds; to supply it with better information that will assist us to prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God, or we may just doze off to sleep.
This endeavor will take discernment, alertness, focus; contrasting and defining each aspect of our souls to make a determination, and distinguish between three pivotal aspects of God’s will. Is it His good will, is it His acceptable will, or is it His perfect will.
Conformity is Deep Sleep
"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man" (Proverbs 24:33-34).
Conformity is an armed man and its assignment is to rob us of peace and steer us off the course of only being conformed into the image of God exclusively. Conformity to the world keeps us worldly minded and sleepy to the things of God, caring more about the things of and in the world, not the things of God which are above. Being conformed to the world is sleep, slumber and folding of the hands to sleep. It will put you in the sleep mode.
Being transformed wakes us up, and provides us with constant movement, and change to keep us alert. Remember the world system excludes God from every system it establishes, and exalts the creature above the Creator, who is blessed forever. Conformity to the world is a definite dose of medicine that puts one to sleep.
“If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 KJV).
Romans 12, is trying to teach us that to be conformed to this world is being fashioned and adapting to its external, and superficial customs. Not being conformed to this world is a controversial issue, but not for believers in Christ Jesus. Non-conformity is how we stay awake. There are many opinions regarding this issue, yet this is not a theoretical debate, but rather a practical guide to reality that is only experientially lasting through the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, who enables us to experience a higher way of life. We are being conformed into the image of God through Jesus Christ, our lives are hid in Christ who is at the right hand of the Father. This is the spring where we draw from, it flows from above into our lives. Remember God never sleeps, nor slumbers and our spirits don't either.
“But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:8-10 KJV).
It is interesting that this verse instructs us to put off or take off these as if removing garments or clothes. The things mentioned above remind me of nightclothes, nightgowns and pajamas worn to get ready to go beddy bye.Those qualities will put you in a deep sleep to righteousness and the right path and induce conformity, complacency and mediocrity, and all of those produce compromise.
All of the things mentioned in this verse warn us to stay awake, they will put you to sleep to righteousness. The new man is renewed in knowledge after the image of God who created him. The renewing of our minds leads us to the Imago Dei, which means the image of God. A renewed mind is what we need in order to conform into God’s image and not the world’s image of us; we cannot serve two masters!
There is much emphasis placed on the external aspect of conformity, but it is an inner work. The soul has to be renewed to provide us with a better thought process. The renewed mind are full of new thoughts, principles and precepts that mold us and shape our thinking to line up with God’s thinking. Our ways and thoughts are not God’s until we undergo continual renewing. We speak differently, and we think differently, and therefore we perform differently.
Non-Conformity Leads to Awakened Transformation
Not being conformed to this world is not arrogant rebellion, or radical uprisings but withdrawal from the patterns and customs erected by a society that excludes God, this withdrawal entails not being individually or collectively in agreement with the way the world is structured and operated apart from God. For the believer in Jesus Christ it is not desiring to become what the world system dictates apart from God. We agree with God and not with all who oppose His sovereign rule and reign. All of our transforming thoughts revolve around the cross of Calvary, the blood that Jesus shed there for all and our holistic redemption.
It is being separated from the systematic material and external lures which seek our devotion. Money being the chief master, which governs the world system. It includes a guide by which man measures the worth of another human being. It is not money that is the evil, but the evil use and lust for it.
The Scriptures tell us, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. This is oftentimes misquoted to say money is the root of all evil. The point is when you allow anything to become your god other than the true and living God; you will be controlled by it and not in control of it. We cannot serve two masters, nor can we serve God and mammon, we will be seduced to love one and hate the other. Serving God is not being controlled by money, but learning to control it, money is still an inanimate object, it has no real life.
Balancing our affections will assist us in keeping money in its proper perspective. Unfortunately, we need money but we need God even more. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit not to fall into the trappings of monetary worth. It takes power not to be conformed to the world system, daily we are being set free from thinking, feeling, acting, and living according to the structure of the world system. It is an on going process, we call transformation.
Education according to the world system is another woe of society, and is used as a form of governing and assessing the worth of a person. The Bible clearly lets us know that knowledge can puff up, and that we can become arrogant, and proud as a result. Education according to the world system is made a utopia, yet within the educational structure there is reserved just a small place for the God of the universe, the Creator of all things that consist.
Sintellect or Intellect?
Theology which is the study of God, yet God can’t be comprehended through the intellect alone; the whole soul has to be engaged. The intellect without God is really a sintellect, meaning sin motivates the mind and moves every thought without God. We need the conscience to dictate between right and wrong and assist us to make ethical and moral decisions. We need the reasoning to help us to examine and judge our thoughts and deeds. We need healthy images to emerge and give us light. We need our emotions to feel what is righteous and not become over sensitive. We need wisdom for every thought that passes through our intellects. We need every aspect of our souls to comprehend God, and we need the renewal to be conformed into the image of God.
The world system does not welcome God as the source of all things, it has its own philosophy which is anti-God, or it just excludes Him altogether. The message it inculcates is that you alone can shape your own destiny and that you are the one that provides for yourself. The question to ask is if it were not for the breath of life, how self-reliant would one be? All of man-kind should know by now that the Creator is the giver of life and without the breath of life we can’t do anything but drop dead or die.
Mediocrity is not a Fruit of the Spirit
Money is a sleeping pill that leads the way to mediocrity. Mediocrity is a slumbering state or condition; it is merely existing and not really living. Mediocrity is an ordinary or average state or quality of life.
We are called to a higher standard in which we must prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God, and mediocrity can never allow us this opportunity. God does not produce mediocrity in the lives of His people. It is something chosen based on our decisions; we are responsible for any mediocrity that emanates out of our lives. Usually it happens because of not obeying the Word of God. It is not the will of God for the Church to be or become mediocre, but supernatural and extraordinary.
Be challenged to look at it from God’s perspective and not from your own comfort zone of complacency. Our own agendas will only put us into a deep sleep. It is the plan and purposes of God that quicken us and keep us awake and alive.
God is the Power of the Transformed Life (Poem)
The premise, and foundation
For the transformed life,
Is none other than,
The Lord Jesus Christ, that
Through us His reflection
Not allowing the flesh
This purpose to derail,
We must use the power
The Spirit of God provides,
Keep the faith
No matter what betides,
Present our bodies
A living sacrifice,
Holy, and acceptable unto God,
This will suffice,
This is the Word of God’s instruction
For our blood wrought lives,
Be not conformed to this world
Is the point that it drives,
Meaning, don’t let the world system
Dictate to you, but
Be transformed in everything
That you think and do,
The soul is still processing, and
Absorbing God’s holy will,
In order that these changes
We can successfully fulfill,
The Word of God has to be
Our final authority,
Or else the manifestations of change
Will not be a personal reality,
Work out your own salvation
With fear, and reverence too,
Be encouraged, and seek all, that
You need to take you through,
Study the Word!
It will provide the success you need,
Eat the whole roll, and
Prove you will succeed,
Be conformed into
The Imago Dei,
In other words, the image of God
Is the chosen way,
The power of the transformed life
Is part of redemption's story,
It is Christ in us the hope of glory,
Greater is He who is in us,
Than all that the world could offer, as just
The transformed life is a continuous process, and
All of the power it entails comes from God.
Inspired by: Romans 12
We are Partakers of God's Divine Nature
We the Church (Body of Christ) are partakers of the divine nature of God, we have inherited God’s nature through Jesus Christ, and there is nothing mediocre about God the Father, Son or the Holy Spirit. God is extraordinary, He excels and exceeds the ordinary and reproduces His extraordinary nature in us.
Mediocrity is a tare, a weed the enemy is sowing in the hearts and lives of believers who refuse the counsel of the Word of God; so that we will just be ordinary and never rise up to achieve the higher standard of life, which is the abundant life Jesus came to give us.
My Pastor in Brooklyn, New York, Alphonso Bernard of Christian Cultural Center, taught us that being extraordinary was merely doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well. It is not an attitude of superiority or arrogance. It is being of an excellent spirit. The Word of God counsels us that whatever we do, we should do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men. Knowing (perceiving) that of the Lord, we shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for we serve the Lord Christ. What is the reward of the inheritance, and what does it consist of? The reward of our inheritance is Christ Jesus, God is our inheritance, and everything He has we have inherited, through Christ our Lord.
When I am functioning out in the world system, I am adamant about professionalism. I love being professional in the workplace, it is because I am committed to excellence in every aspect of my life. It goes beyond merely working to be paid, but whatever I put my hands to do, to do it heartily as unto the Lord, not yielding to mediocrity is the goal and challenge; and I’ve noticed the quality of the work I produce is much better, when I do it as unto the Lord. Diligence, excellence and enthusiasm emerge to support this effort.
The main point in laboring the issue of mediocrity is to renounce it as a part of my inheritance, it is not a characteristic of God, nor is it representative of the nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus was, is and never will be mediocre in any way, form or fashion. Individual believers operating in mediocrity indirectly or directly affect the destiny of the Church collectively. When one member suffers it affects the whole body. It is only through the life of Christ, and all of His champions and cloud of witnesses that I can resolve that mediocrity cannot be part of my destiny.
Being extraordinary is not something you eagerly grasp after, it is the result of whatever you do, doing it as unto the Lord, and not unto men. This approach and attitude exposes conformity. We have a choice; we can seek to please God, or men. When your ways please the Lord, He allows men to see, and take notice but that takes the anointing. I have gone the route of trying to please people, and by the grace of God I never want to consciously do it again, if our ways please God others will be pleased as a result.
The choice is ever before us, as to whether we will seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first and foremost. To please God is my desire, and everything, and everyone will follow. Mediocrity does not have priorities, and precedence’s which line up with excellence.
Choose ye this day whom you will serve, will it be God or man? Now that choice is personal. It is the defining moment in everything we do, to do all things as unto God. To choose mediocrity is the choice to live below and beneath God’s potential for us to rise and shine. This choice may be agonizing at times, but we die daily. To live is Christ, and to die is gain, in all ways and in all things.
It is easy to perform in mediocrity because that is the way of the world, it is the course of the world to compromise your value system, and just become mediocre to gain material things. We are in the world, and must live in it, but the world does not shape our ideals or values any more, the Word of God does. It is a matter of the Word of God, over the world and its operating system.
Mediocrity leads to compromise, apathy, complacency which represent weaknesses in our characteristics which are divine opportunities for the Word of God. It is easy to become comfortable in God, but not to the point of the complacency void of Godlikeness and godliness. We are called to excellence, and to be of an extraordinary nature, and we are called to a life of glory in Christ Jesus. Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Put the Word of God, over the world system. Word up! Grace and peace be unto to you!