Most of our lives, we simply try to fit in. Look at our clothes. We try to keep up with a style that is ever-changing. Look at our pursuit of possession. We sell our souls to have what everyone else has only to find that it requires twice the effort to obtain it and maintain it. We are so fearful of being left behind, of being behind the times, that we forget all the while that we are not called to look like the world nor pursue the quests of the world.
Growing up, my mother would buy me shirts with various Christian symbols and verses on them. Rarely did I even pay attention to what was on the shirt. I wore it because it was clean. However, one day, I took note of the shirt I had chosen to wear. The slogan of the shirt was "Dare To Be Different" and underneath that logo was printed Romans 12:2. I had never read the verse before, but curiosity led me to open a Bible and see what I was promoting that day.
The words were a call from God for me to change. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2 ESV) I was wearing something that said I was called out, something that said I was different, while I was seeking to fit in with the world around me.
Conforming. We see it all around us today. We see it in the choices we make, the words that we speak, the schedules we set, and the company we keep. Living like Christ often means little more to us than going to church and not doing the "BIG" sins, rather than looking like the biblical call to die to ourselves and live for Him. Have we experienced a transformation? Are there signs of change within our lives?
Today, I helped to deliver the message at the funeral of a young lady who passed away at the age of twenty-four. So young. So full of life. Yet, she is no longer on this earth. Her life had been touched by the Lord and now, I sit here tonight and look for the evidence that my life has experienced a transformation by the hands of the Lord. Is my faith something of words, like a T-shirt I put on and take off, or is my faith the condition of my heart, the very fabric of who I am?
Be not conformed to this world. Those words force us to examine our lives and ask are we living more for the world or for Christ. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Have our minds experienced a transformation away from the mind of the flesh to a place where we approach life with the mind of Christ?
By God's grace, we have this moment. We have a chance to change. The Lord listens for the prayer that comes from the depths of the heart that cries out, "Change my heart, Lord." For when that prayer is prayed, the transformation begins!