Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Conformed

We must assess our thoughts and beliefs and reckon whether they are moving us closer to conformity to Christ or farther away from it.

~ by John Ortberg ~


Robert Frost's poem creates an image of two simple paths in the woods. One is narrow and less traveled while the other is wide and more popular. But, I think there are lots more paths out there. After we choose the narrow way, we keep running across new forks in the road.

Oh look, this path is less rocky and a little bit more maintained. It's still narrow but it just looks a little bit easier on the feet. From our vantage point, we may not be able to see if a certain path will lead back to the wide way.

Sometimes, the path narrows so much that it is difficult to see the way. The grass grows high and the bushes crowd in so that each step is labored.

I guess it seems to me that each day we are given new choices which is why it is so important to evaluate our thinking each and every day. Asking ourselves, Is this thought pattern drawing me closer to Christ?

On the internet, I run into people from two vastly different mindsets. I'm talking about extremes, so please don't be offended. One ideology says that we must separate ourselves from the world becoming epicurian in our lifestyles, avoiding anything that even resembles worldliness.

On the other hand, there is a movement for people to make Christianity relevant for today's generation. This includes incorporating worldly ways into our worship and our doctrine.

Let me be clear. Neither one of these paths leads to the cross.

Ok, I may have just really ticked some people off. But, it saddens me to see people getting so excited about holiness or so passionate about people but not pursuing CHRIST.

I want to know HIM, I want to be made like HIM. He loved people and He was sinless. He wasn't exactly relevant though and I don't think He would fit into some epicurian circles. He was a regular guy whose life was about grace, honesty and God's glory.



1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for
action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."


Are my belief systems in line with Christ's? What I believe about humanity, about myself, about salvation, about how to live out my faith....are these beliefs conformed to Christ? Or to the last great book I read (ouch!)? Or to the mentality I inadvertantly pick up from TV? Or to some man-made idea of perfection?



Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.


Romans 12:2 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.

I have a last comment about how we conform our thinking to CHrist's. My thoughts will conform to His when I know His thoughts. So, I have to begin by saturating myself with His word. Worldly thinking and pharisaic beliefs are often so set in that we don't recognize them as such. We have to pray like David, asking God to search our hearts and reveal false beliefs. This is a daily battle. I choose the right path when I consecrate my thoughts to Christ and trust Him instead of my human thinking.

12 comments:

Denise said...

Write on my friend, really enjoyed this.

twinklemom said...

Heather, Great job and great post! Those were really great words to read today!

Tonya said...

I'm probably one who might fall off into one of those extremes that you mentioned. Maybe not? I personally believe there should be balance. I think we DO have to separate ourselves in many instances, but then it also says we're to be Titus 2 women. (Teaching the younger)


The Bible says that "IF an unbeliever comes in" (talking about when we're worship)

1 Corinthians 14: 24-25
24But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand[h]comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"

JESUS didn't go around inviting lost people to the temple... HE met them where they were. As did the disciples. I'm not saying that unbelievers didn't come in on their own, just that it doesn't look like that was the way of sharing the gospel. The modern way of doing things has taken the burden of leading others to CHRIST off of us as individuals and placed it on one man.

This is where balance comes to play. If we're living our lives for CHRIST then others will see HIM in us. If we're sharing HIM with the ladies in the grocery store, or inviting them into our homes then we have many chances every day to share the gospel. Our husbands can (and should) share JESUS with those they work with. If everyone were witnessing to those around them, just imagine the impact on eternity?

So I guess you might say that in some instances I think we should be separate, and at other times we should not be. It'd be great if Christians would get back to the basics and do things the way JESUS did and would. Oh well, that's just my take... LOL!

Thanks so much for sharing your heart!

LOVE YOU!

Kysha said...

Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, sista. Preach it! Great post!

Tiffany Stuart said...

It's all about knowing Him and out of that relationship, being a light of His love.

Thanks for the shower comment. Refreshing.

Waiting to hear from you about the query. Gentle nudge and a big hug.

Anonymous said...

A country boy once said, "That dog will hunt". Your hubbby says, "that will preach" Make no apologies for calling yourself and your family to a higher level of holiness. I want to be like Him too. I want to be with Him, I want Him to say well done, not "you sure let the world seep in and drown me out."

Susan said...

..."My thoughts will conform to His when I know His thoughts."

That summed it up so perfectly Heather. I want to truly KNOW Him more then anything else and partake in all He endured.

Yes, it is a narrow road♥

Christie Todd said...

I would really appreciate your input on what your top 10 fears are. I am seeking info for a book I am writing on overcoming fear.
Thank you
Christie Todd

lori said...

Girlfriend...
It's true..we HAVE to have the heart of David....asking daily for God to SEARCH our hearts and REVEAL His will...you know we have always been challenged to "live in the world and not of it..." In this culture it's so easy to get distracted...I HAVE to come back to center or I'll be spinning in circles not knowing WHO or WHAT to listen to....when all the while a small, yet POWERFUL voice is trying to have me hear...HIS...

Ah, so what...you make a few upset...Jesus did...you are just choosing HIS path!!

BUT keep an eye on the road..you never know when a stop sign will JUMP out at you!!
;)

hugs,
lori

Karen said...

Amen, amen, and AMEN!!!!

Thanks for being courageous and bold enough to speak truth that some may not want to hear!!!

Hope you've had a great day!
Karen
www.homesteadblogger.com/tagblog

Beloved MaMa™ said...

you always word things so well...thank you for sharing

Shari said...

I think that we were thinking along the same lines with this quote. It's getting late and I'd better stop blogging soon. I still want to do my Bible study so that I can know Him better.