March 28, 2012
Wanting to fit in or be accepted by others is a natural urge. We tend to follow the pursuits of those around us to connect or to find answers that we can’t uncover on our own. Sometimes answers come in the form of strategies our peers use 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 months, years, and even decades now. Without realizing it, we can gradually begin accepting sinful behavior as “normal.” The constant exposure, validation, and normalizing of evil behavior results in becoming desensitized to it.
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 we 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.
So how can we avoid being pulled by the world’s influences? By letting God transform us into a new person. But it’s not all up to Him. If it were, all Christians would be perfect … and I’ve met a bunch of you and know that just ain’t true! You see, we play a big part in this transformation process because God gave us free will and we need to be great stewards of it. We need to change the way we view our lives and our circumstances, and dissect our motivations. Then your decision-making will be Godly and transformation will occur exponentially in your spirit and mind, even rewiring your brain chemistry! Renewing the mind.
To develop the mind of Christ we must continually transform our mind, will, intellect and emotions. The transformation occurs by immersing ourselves in God’s Word, and then obeying it. We have to apply it, becoming 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. Life is your decision, so choose well and be transformed.
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 and renewing your mind. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2