Do Not Conform

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 9, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
~Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

This week Worldview Warriors has been addressing Romans 12:1-2. For this post, I want to zoom in this phrase: “Do not be conformed to this world.” What does it mean to not be conformed to this world? Let’s dig in. In the NIV, Romans 12:2 says: “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world.” This is talking about the way of thinking in this world or the worldly system. James illustrates this point further in James 4:4. Here we learn that to be a friend of the world (referencing the worldly system) is to be enmity with God. If we love and follow the ways of the world, we are actually being enemies with God. What is all this talking about?

Let’s take a look at any given nation. There are two types of people in the nation: citizens, and aliens or foreigners. A citizen of a nation is expected to follow and obey the law and order and expectations of what a citizen of that nation is supposed to do. The foreigner is not exactly subject to the laws of the nation he is visiting, but he also does not have the rights that a citizen has. When a law is violated, the nation will often extradite or deport the foreigner. But, there are means for a foreigner to become a citizen of the nation he is living in.

Because of our sin, we all start as citizens of the worldly system. This system has a ruler, the Prince of the Power of the Air, or Satan. It does not take much to figure out how this world thinks. It’s very selfish and self-driven. Logic and reasoning are not exactly involved. This world’s system is about making yourself look as good as you can, push anyone in your way out of the way, and “climb the ladder of success.” You go to school, work for 40 years, retire, then die, and ultimately what value does it have? But as Christians, we renounce our citizenship to this system (confess our sins) and proclaim our loyalty to Jesus Christ (confess Jesus as Lord).

Many do not like Christian teachings because such teachings “do not benefit society.” This is more true than we tend to think. Bill Nye, in his debate with Ken Ham, accused the teaching of creation as slowing down the progress of society. What he means is that the teaching of creation is a detriment to the worldly system thinking of evolution. He sees creation as a threat to his worldview of evolution and he would be right, but not for the reasons he thinks.

Take time to read 1 Corinthians 1:17-31. Here Paul tells us that our system of Christianity, of God’s wisdom, is foolishness to this world. It does not make sense to them. It is totally backwards to what this world knows how to think and act. God repeatedly shows to use what the world considers to be wise, to be strong, to be glorious, to be foolish, to be weak, and to be lame. We have a lot of self-proclaimed experts telling us they know how things should be when they really don’t know what they are talking about. In education, we have a lot of politicians who have never spent any time in a classroom, making decisions on how schools should be run and they have utterly destroyed the system from being effective in giving a real education. Yet this is also true in regards to the other “experts.” We have scientists and philosophers who the world boasts as wise, but every time they open their mouths they say foolish things in rebellion against God. We have mighty armies and mighty heroes that our media praises, but when pitted against the might of God, they tremble. We have celebrities, sport stars, movie stars, etc, but most know nothing of God.

God tells us not to pursue this system, not to pursue this way of thinking. A good friend of mine, Steve Lillis, learned this the hard way. He is a professional pool player but he used his skills and his talents to pursue the life of a celebrity. And he is GOOD. But one day he saw that his pursuit was not worth it. He saw the emptiness in it. He surrendered his game and his life fully to the Lord and 12 years later, God paved the way for him to return to the game, but this time as a minister. He now uses his skills as a trick shot artist to preach the Gospel and it is a powerful ministry. Look him up at

Another man who learned this secret was CT Studd. I did not know this about him until a couple weeks ago, but he was a famous cricket (a sport similar to baseball, but different) player. He was world famous. He left the sport because he was called to the mission field. He spent the rest of his life in China and India, and after contracting about every disease known to man, was called to interior Africa. He was in the world’s system but he forsook it for the Kingdom of God.

Are we pursuing this world’s system or are we using what God has given us to do his will? Which mindset are we going after: the way the majority of the world thinks, or the way God tells us to think? Christianity is about being conformed into the image of Christ, about having our mind renewed into the likeness of Christ. Look at 1 Corinthians 2:16. Paul quotes Scripture asking, “Who can know the mind of Christ?” But he answers this with, “We have the mind of Christ.” Pay attention to this. If we are born again, if we are being changed into the image of Christ, if the Holy Spirit dwells within us, this is a logical conclusion. We have access to how God thinks. We will not be able to fully understand him, but we can learn and understand in some way how God thinks. I’ll let you chew on that for a while.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. Do not pursue this world’s way of thinking, this world’s way of pursuing life. It is contrary to how God would have us live. We still live in this world, but as foreigners, and more accurately as ambassadors. We live under a higher law; let us do so.

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