(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
- To be or act in accord with a set of standards, expectations, or specifications
- To act, often unquestioningly, in accordance with traditional customs or prevailing standards.
- To be similar in form or pattern.
So what are you conforming to? What set of standards, expectations or specifications mold your thoughts and activities?
Naturally, it can become the people around you, the cultural norms of your community or the standards set by your work or school environment.
Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” People around us shape our ideas, our habits, our motivations.
From thefreemanonline.com, “Culture includes the totality of people’s way of life, from their dressing up to their manner of eating, beliefs, language, norms, and values. People view the world from where they are coming from and consequently react according to their culture.” Culture around us shapes our ideas, our habits, our motivations.
What else pressures you to conform?
Media, peers, desire to be loved, yearning for acceptance, and more. So many things around us pressure us to conform.
The question is, “How many of them are conforming us to the ways of the world and how many are conforming us to the ways of the Lord?”
Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer 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 12:1).
Paul knew that the starting point and the natural gravitational point is to conform to the world. The world in which we live has a proportionately greater influence on our hearts and minds. So to follow Jesus completely, we need the Spirit’s help to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
What does that look like? Consider the following four encouragements:
- Think about the things of God: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
- Fill your mind with the words of God: Ephesians 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
- Surround yourself with the people of God: Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Spend time in prayer with God: Philippians 4:6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
The world is not going to stop trying to conform your heart, mind and will to its patterns and ways of being. While the easiest, that path is not blessed. Under the shadow of grace and motivated by the love of God, put your mind, heart, and will in a position to be conformed to the mind, heart and will of God! Enjoy the blessings that come as a result!
Apply: What do you/can you do to allow God’s Spirit to influence your mind more each day/each week?
Prayer: Lord thank you for loving us so much not just to come to this world to live, die and rise again, but for calling us out of the world to enjoy the blessings of your Spirit conforming our mind, heart and will to yours. Forgive us when we fail. Encourage us to bring your influence into every day of our lives. AMEN.