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Devotional

Conformity

Conformity
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of January 8, 2017


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”   -Romans 12:2  

God’s conformity is a divine strategy that means to be in agreement with Him without compromise (Eph. 1:11).  The word “con” means to convict.  The word “form” means to shape, to develop in the mind.  The word “trans” means to cross over.  Divine conformity, or transformation, enables us to be more like God, more in harmony with God and invites peace, unity and promotion into our lives.

This precept is perhaps best explained in the first paragraph of Romans 12:2 of The Message:

  “ . . . God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”    

Concerning our work lives, there may be times when we feel provoked by immaturity, obstinacy and rebellion operating through co-workers.  When this occurs, how will we choose to respond?  Will we spar with them?  Placate to them through compromise?  Entertain rebellion?  Or will we choose to conform to God (not man), trusting that He will break through every resistance—even that within us—that tries to exalt itself against His best for us?

People who choose to remain in obstinacy and rebellion invite punishment and death into their lives (Ez. 5:7, 11:12).  The enemy has a grip on them, and he uses them as instruments to lure others into strife, discord, disunity and dysfunction, the ultimate purpose of which is to dismantle God’s plan and purpose for our assignment.

Participating in strife distresses us, distracts us and can wear us down to the point of wanting to quit.  It enables the enemy to make headway.  Thankfully, God always provides an alternative to the gutter.  But will we choose or even see His higher strategy?  Do we ask Him to open our eyes and to instill in us the character to see His plan through?

So often God will use rebellious people and distressing circumstances to test us, even mirror what’s inside of us, to bring us to our knees in repentance before Him so that He can conform us.  He does this when He wants to accomplish something through us, but the obstacles in us—not others—are actually preventing His will from coming forth.  I believe that, many times, God will deal with others for us if we will just conform to His will.

The Lord once showed me a picture of a large, upright stone that He was chiseling all around.  He impressed upon me that the stone was myself.  Unlike moldable clay, sometimes, there have stony areas that God has to chisel away at in order to form us to the likeness of His Son.  In this maturing process, He reminded me that we are His work in progress and that He applies the necessary tools to break through hardness to allow for transformation.

If you find yourself in a “hard” place, ask the Lord to enable you to receive His revelation understanding of what needs to be chipped away.  Confess that you desire to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, and ask Him to help you.

 

 

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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