Sunday, November 25, 2012

Non-Conformist?

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So many words have their meaning changed over the years. Today when we speak of “transformed”, a movie or toys comes to mind. That picture doesn’t match how it was used in the Bible:

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

The Greek μεταμορφόω used here is the base for metamorphosis – a noticeable change. That should be applicable in a Christian’s life. I’ve heard (and seen) the changes one of our Deacon’s describes in his life. He was a functioning alcoholic, able to keep a job (partly because of his excellent co-dependent wife) and do good work in life. Except when he was drinking, which put him in the back of a police car a couple of times. Except for the money taken out of their budget to cover his cigarettes, booze, a bit of pot here and there, fines and lawyer fees. Multiple rehab stays hadn’t changed him. Once he was in a facility with an aunt and two cousins – same one his Dad had been in. It was a family trait.

He was in a twelve-step program when he started attending our church. He asked the pastor about a couple of the steps.  Pastor’s response was that he didn’t know about more than one step – Jesus, Christ, as personal Lord and savior. When this man accepted Christ, he was transformed.

Conforming to anyone’s concept of what this world should be is a huge step. Most people are non-conformists – wanting to stand out from a crowd, which means they think conforming to church rules and regulations is absolutely NOT for them. They’d rather not confirm to society.

Being transformed by acceptance of God’s will is very difficult to explain to a non-believer. They think we’re ‘brainwashed’ and that we’ve conformed to what people think a Christian should be. That’s why I love the part about renewing the mind: that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Prove it. Put it to the test. Experience what happens when asking God to be in your life.  Be prepared, though, for the result. Read an example of an atheist who put God to that very test. There is one line from that example that some would ignore, but it is very important:
I cannot remember when my discomfort level has been higher.
Transforming is not comfortable. Think of the butterfly’s exit from the cocoon. It is a struggle, but anyone helping to free it weakens the wings to the point it cannot fly. Do not back off at the discomfort. There is an adversary that wants to keep you cocooned in darkness and doubt.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12 KJV)

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