How do we access the promises of God that are found in the Bible? Promises such as those listed in Deuteronomy 7:12-26 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
In short, these scriptures promise a life of abundance, not just in finances, accessed through obedience (See my post on obedience).
I suggest that Romans 12:2 gives insight into why, as Believers, we are not walking in the fullness of God’s promises.
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 12:2 NKJV)
In this post…I will focus on “and do not be conformed to this world”.
What does it mean to be conformed to something?
I’m glad you asked!
The word that is translated into the English word conformed is the Greek word suschématizó. This word means to “fashion alike”, or adopt the same pattern. It denotes an outward conformity (expression); meaning it is visible to others (such as actions).
Romans 12:2 is instructing us not to act in the way that is similar to or framed by those of this age. We are not to conform to their pattern of doing things. How we live, act, talk, etc. should not be based on societal norms, pressures, cultures, or any other stronghold. Your actions must be ruled by God’s Word.
I think that there is a general misunderstanding of what it truly means to “conform to the world”. Most people associate that phrase with the concept of materialism. The love of money/material things fits into the category, but conforming to the world involves much more than that.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
We live in a world of science which has overshadowed the concept of faith. A world that is ruled by “validated”, testable conclusions, rules, paradigms. In short, the secular world is ruled by human knowledge (i.e. flesh).
The problem is, our human knowledge is just that…human. The principles of God do not operate out of human knowledge and logic; therefore, operating out of these will not lead to an abundant life. We have to operate out of the will of God in order to recognize His promises in our life. In order to achieve a goal, He will most likely lead you down a path that seems completely illogical. Why? Because no one can say you achieved the goal outside of God.
Abraham waited for a son for 99 years and when his son was born, the Lord told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
Moses was called to deliver the Israelites from slavery. But God had him to leave pharaoh’s house and journey away from them first.
God told Abraham to leave everything he knew in order to travel to a place the Lord hadn’t revealed.
Jesus appears to the disciples prior to his ascension (Luke 24:37-53). It had been 40 days since the Resurrection (Acts 1:3). He instructs the disciples to wait (Luke 24:49).
In conclusion what the world values, worships, and does is a snare to the Believer. It is meant to choke out the word in order to diminish our power. Anything that you do that is contrary to God’s Word should be addressed by
renewing your mind. Stay tuned for a post on how exactly to do that.
…and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:19 NKJV)