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)
By now you must know that the Bible is made of several books, right?
Just in case you still do not know the number let me help you out.
The Bible is made up of 66 books. It is neatly divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament has 39 books while the New Testament has 27 books.
Are we together up to there? Good!
The Book of Romans is in the New Testament.
That verse up there has a correlating section(s) in the Old Testament.
Because that is how the Bible is.
“Scripture interprets Scripture”
It has many books, written by many fallible human beings BUT all were under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit. That is what makes the Bible coherent.
Now that we are done with that quick ‘know the Bible lesson’ let us rush back to conforming, shall we?
The children of Israel provide us with a perfect example of what conforming is all about.
Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 8
Samuel’s sons have failed to live up to the godly ways of their father . . .
Elders of Israel: Samuel you are getting old you know, like he needed reminding, and your sons are wayward man
Samuel: Nodding his head
Elders of Israel: We want a king! We want to be just like all the other nations
Samuel: Shook. Really Shook
. . .
Samuel: God can you believe this people! I am so disappointed in them.
God: They have not rejected you Samuel, they have rejected me. And this has been coming by the way since I took them Egpyt.
Samuel: I am so sorry God
God: Samuel, relax. Would you also be so kind as to warn them of what exactly it is they are asking for? Kings do not come cheap you know!
. . .
So, Israel asks for a king. Scratch that . . .
Israel DEMANDS for a king.
So that they can be like all other nations!
Are you being serious right now?
Not because they needed a king
Not because they had thought it through
Not because of any tangible, concrete reason
But because every other nation apart from them had a king
If this is not the classic example of conforming, I do not know what is
Turn it inwards
- Why are you dressing the way you are? Because everyone is dressing this way. Because it is the latest fashion
- Why are you speaking the way you are? Because everyone is speaking like that
- Why are you conducting your services this way? Because everyone is conducting their services this way
- Why are you getting married? Because all my friends are getting married. Everyone my age is getting married
- Why are you taking your children to school? Because everyone takes their children to school
Why are you . . .? Because everyone . . .
Why do you want . . .? Because everyone . . .
Conforming is so costly. And the worst bit about it, it is unanticipated costs.
Look at Israel, they did not even sit back and calculate the cost of having a king before asking one. They were so driven to be like every other nation, they were blinded to the consequences.
Samuel goes ahead and warns them, I think in the hope of changing their resolve, on the expenses of having a king.
This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights:
- He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
- Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
- He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
- He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.
- He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.
- Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.
- He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.
And if this list does not scare you back to your senses, verily verily I say unto you: “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
You would think the people would fall flat in repentance, covered in sack clothes and ashes!
Noooooo . . .
They are even more adamant now:
“We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
Woii, a king they got. And a king they regretted asking for.
No need for you
If you are going to live life being what everyone else is, why do we need you here?
In 2019, try being you for a change.
In 2019, become aware, become conscious of your conforming tendencies and choose to question and interrogate your reasons for being and doing.
You will be better from it, I can assure you.
Learn from the Israelites. Let us all learn from the Israelites.
They made the terrible mistake of moving from a Theocracy to Kingship and suffered innumerable consequences.
Imagine them refusing to be under God and choosing, consciously so, to be under a mere mortal man just to be like everyone else?
But don’t we do that all the time . . .
Choose to please men over God . . .
Choose to be under the influence, guidance and direction of mere mortal men other than under God . . .
And see where we end up? 1 Samuel 8:10-17 – Voluntary slavery
Say no to conformity in whatever shape, form or size it presents itself to you. Make a deliberate and conscious choice to be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may know what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God for you life at all times!