Tuesday 23 Jan 2018
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John 6:48

I am the bread of life.

 

Resist the temptation to conform

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world..........

If we take some time to meditate on this short but profound instruction, we would discover a whole lot of truth and gain significant insight into why the Christian faith especially the Church of Christ now appears to be faced with the crisis of credibility while she watches as her moral authority is being called to question. 

The church is made up of people and these are people who are called in Christ to offer themselves to God as a living sacrifice, people who are called to be God's people by following Christ, and are called to yield themselves to the authority of the Most High, through the saving grace that came through Christ. The church is a communion of people who are called to separate themselves unto God by accepting his sovereign authority over their lives. And It is to this body that Paul wrote, by informing them what is required of them in order to make their calling in Christ sure. The church did not arrive at the crisis point she finds herself today by accident, she did not sleep walk into it either, rather there were set of simple but profound instructions which she and her children continued to delibrately ignore while waving the card of grace. This instruction is one of them, and today we will look at the significance as well as the implications of ignoring this instruction.

The truth which we as believers must acknowledge is this, the way of the world is not only different from the ways of God, it actually contradicts it. The system of the workd is under the authority of the one who is in eternal in rebellion to the authority of God. And as a result everything it stands for is in rebellion to the sovereign will of God. Therefore whenever we are tempted to conform to the things of the world, we need to pause for a moment to ask the question, what is the implication of this act which i am about to compromise my faith for. While it is true that we are not perfect and the temptation to conform is always near to us and we are vulnerable on many levels. Nevertheless the truth remains, by understanding the implications as well as the consequences of our actions, we are better informed as well as strenghtened in our resolve to do that which is right in the sight of God and to resist such temptation.

So the question arises, what are the implications, for every act of compromise and conformity to the ways of the world? To answer this question we defer to the scripture by looking at an incident in the history of the people of God and the position. of God to what they were agitating for.
1 Samuel 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 

Here we see the people of God defer to the way of the world while trying to find a solution to the dilema they were facing , this they did without knowing the implications. While it is true that the sons of Samuel did not follow in the steps of their father, nevertheless this problem cannot be solved by the ways of the world, the God who replaced the sons of Eli by picking Samuel over them is still very much on the throne. But this bit of truth went missing on the people of God. It must be stated that we too are proned to the same error as well. In their quest for solution they conformed to the standard of the world, by rejecting the model of governance which God instituted for them in preference for the model of the neighbouring pagan nations. See the position of God on this turn of event.
1 Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 

The truth be told, every time we conform a little to the ways of the world and approve of it, we are inadvertently disapproving of and rejecting God, the very One we claim to worship as Lord. We must ask ourselves the question, can we serve two masters? If the answer is no, then we must understand that we cannot be serving the One we disaprove of, the act of rejecting him testifies to this, claiming otherwise is nothing but self deception.

There are many ways through which we can conform to the ways of the world and the devil knows how much harm he can wreck in the lives of believers by lulling them into that false sense where we believe that a little conformity amounts to nothing or where we feel that this instruction is one we can simply wave aside. Nothing exposes a believer to ridicule more than being in the position where such claim to have entrusted their lives, their ways, and their salvation in the hands of the One they reject on daily by their actions. Likewise nothing betrays a believer more than when they reject the One who has called them to experience his power, his glory as well as his blessing when they reject the very ways that leads into them in preference for the ways of the world .

Let me state clearly at this point that this is not about heaping condemnation upon anyone or making anyone come under its burden, rather it is about sensitising us to the things that grieves the spirit of God, things that can make his presence appear to be far from us when in truth, it is our heart that is far from him by what it approves and conforms to. This is to make us become aware of those things that we give ourselves to which end up denying us the joy of true fellowship which he has called us into in his son Jesus. This information is of benefit both to the one who is being tempted to conform as well as the one who has already succumbed.