“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think and renewing your mind. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Wanting to fit in or be accepted by others is a natural urge. We tend to follow the pursuits of those around us out of a desire to be connected or to find answers that we can’t uncover on our own. Sometimes answers come in the form of strategies our peers use to manage daily life and the spiritual warfare we all face.
It’s so easy to be influenced by and brainwashed into believing that our peers’ opinions and the world’s views are accurate. For example, television programs subtly—and more and more recently, not so subtly—dishonor God. They present sinful attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles as normal—over and over, through months, years and even decades. Without realizing it, we can gradually begin accepting sinful behavior as “normal.” We become desensitized to evil behavior and begin to accept it after it’s normalized through constant exposure and validation.
Other influences—friends, employers, books, movies, family, politics and social policy—shape our thinking as well. One real danger has been introduced in the form of books and movies that claim to be Christian and use “Christian-ese” words. But in fact, they teach things that are totally unscriptural. Usually, good teaching is mixed in with deceptive teaching, drawing many Christians into accepting the whole because of some carefully placed Biblical truths. Jesus warned us to be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing—that even the elect could be deceived.
Remember we are in a spiritual battle and our foe is formidable, He has studied us for thousands of years. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Satan is incredibly sneaky and deceitful. He will always come up with subtle strategies and methods to veer us away from God. Satan is also very patient. He doesn’t care if he steers us away from God just one degree at a time. Then, after many weeks, months or years, you have turned 180 degrees away from God. You have hit that slippery slope and are in a free fall off the path God has for all of us.
We need to change the way we view our lives and our circumstances by dissecting our motivations. To develop the mind of Christ we must continually transform our minds, will, intellect and emotions. The transformation occurs by immersing yourself in God’s Word and then by obeying it.
Please join me in prayer, Dear God, open our eyes to the wrong influences in our life. Transform us into a new person by changing the way we think. Give us a deeper understanding of Your Word. Help us to live in obedience to Your will and to make right choices even when they are difficult. We pray all of this in Your Holy and Precious Name – AMEN.
Love-Your Brother and Friend in Christ,