It is natural to want to do what the prevailing system tells us is the way to success and happiness. But Saint Paul warns us that this is a trap, and the only way out is to renew our thinking to find God’s will for our lives. Whether we realize it or not, God’s will is what we are seeking. His purpose for us is what will bring the only real joy and fulfillment we crave.
“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2 NET
If you are like me, you are probably inundated with this present world all day, every day. Whether it is the news, music, conversations at work, what you read on the internet, or the videos you watch, almost all of it comes at you from the world’s view. By comparison, how much of your daily input is from God’s perspective? How much of your thought is directly influenced by His word versus whatever you hear from friends, neighbors, your company, or the government? The scales are probably heavily in favor of the world’s view.
The reality is that most of us are very much conformed to this present world, which is exactly opposite of what scripture tells us we should do. Sometimes we conform on purpose, but often we do it without even realizing we are conforming to the world instead to doing things God’s way.
To emphasize this point, a May 2017 article from Barna entitled Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians says this:
We live in a world of competing ideas and worldviews. In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, Christians are more aware of (and influenced by) disparate views than ever. But just how much have other worldviews crept into Christians’ perspectives? Barna’s research shows that only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview1. So, if Christians are open to nonbiblical perspectives, what are they believing?
The last question in that quote says it all. If you are open to the influences of the world rather than God’s solutions, what do you really believe? I don’t think this is a condemning question, but rather something to really make us think.
How can you change this? You probably aren’t going to like the answer because it takes work. Jesus said to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”, and all the other stuff would be added. All the best stuff the world has to offer will be added to us if we seek Him first. Seeking is something that is active. Seeking takes effort.
Here’s the kicker…if you aren’t seeking, by default that means you are conforming.
But seek what? According to Saint Paul, we should seek to be transformed.