Wanting to fit in or be accepted by those around us is a natural urge. We tend to look around and follow the pursuits of those around us. Sometimes, we also use the strategies we observe to manage life and the spiritual warfare we wage on a daily basis.
It’s so easy to be influenced by (and even brainwashed into the belief) that the world’s view and thinking is accurate. Television programs subtly—and more and more recently, not so subtly—dishonor God. They present sinful attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles as normal—over and over again through the months and the years. Without realizing it, we can gradually begin accepting sinful behavior as “normal.”
Other influences … friends, employers, books, movies, family … shape our thinking as well. One real danger has been introduced in the form of books and movies that claim to be Christian and use “Christian-ese” words. But in fact, they teach things that are totally unscriptural. Usually good teaching is mixed in with the deceptive teaching, drawing many Christians into accepting the whole because of some carefully placed Biblical truths. Jesus warned us to be careful—that even the elect could be deceived.
Remember we are in a spiritual battle and our foe is formidable and has studied us for thousands of years. He knows us better than you know ourselves. Satan is incredible. He will always come up with subtle strategies and methods to veer us away from God. He is also very patient. He doesn’t care if he steers you away from God only one degree per month at first. Then after a number of months, you hit that slippery slope and are in a free fall.
How can we avoid being drawn into the pull of the world’s influences? By letting God transform us into a new person. But it’s not all up to Him. We have free will and need to be great stewards of it. We need to change the way we see everything in our lives, in our circumstances, and in our motivations. Then our decision-making will be Godly and transformation will occur exponentially in our spirit, mind, and brain chemistry!
To develop the mind of Christ we must continually transform our mind, will, intellect and emotions. The transformation is possible through immersing ourselves in God’s Word, and then obeying it. We have to apply it and become Godly decision-makers for transformation to occur. This is why I am so relentless about teaching decision-making strategies and skills.
Today, measure every influence in the light of God’s Word … and reject those that don’t line up. Quit watching that television program. Don’t read that book. Choose what is right over what is easy or popular, or what feels good. Be willing to take a stand. Don’t be “normal”. Be special in Him and for Him. Your decision, choose well.
Dear God, Open my eyes to the wrong influences in my life. Transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Give me a deeper understanding of Your Word. Help me to live in obedience to Your will, and to make right choices even when they are difficult. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who never settled for normal, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.