How do you know if the input of God’s Word is shaping you – influencing your time, your priorities, and your focus – more than the input of the world’s values?
The world says, “Get, get, get. Impress, impress, impress.”
God’s Word says, “Give, give, give. Love, love, love. Be authentic, kind, humble.”
The world says, “It’s how you look that matters.”
God’s Word says, “It’s who you are that matters.”
The world says, “You don’t measure up unless you ‘have this…and this and this.’”
God’s Word says, “You already measure up, and your value is in how you care.”
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We’re in the battle of our life. External forces are constantly saying: Conform! And an internal, supernatural power is saying: Be transformed!
The world’s messages to conform are coming at us with lightning speed in smart phones, computers, TV, Netflix, billboards, romance novels, and even in relationships.
By contrast, God’s Word comes to us in the beauty of nature, the Word of God, and in the relationships with other believers who have Jesus living inside of them. God uses all of these ways to allow Christ to be formed in us so He can give us His best.
The question is which messages are we allowing to influence us the most?
The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes this battle and how we are to overcome it:
“And do not be conformed any longer to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that your life would be the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
Literally, Paul is saying: Stop allowing yourselves to be molded by the influence and pressures of this present world system that’s energized by the enemy of your soul.
We have an enemy that wants to mess up our lives, ruin our relationships, and separate us from God. He wants to make us emotionally depressed and cause us to physically go into areas that will ruin our lives.
So, if we want to honor God and get His very best for our lives, then we must stop allowing the world’s values – anything that’s antithetical to everything God wants for us – from squeezing us into its mold. Instead, we must allow ourselves to be transformed into God’s values.
How do we do this?
We must take the raw material of God’s written Word, and get it into our minds so the Spirit of God can take the written Word and make it the living Word.
Jesus had to live this out, too. Now, you might be thinking, “Really? The Son of God studied and memorized the Word, too?” Yes!
Remember when Jesus was with Satan and He was being tempted? He was tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
But every time Jesus was tempted, He responded with, “It is written…” “It is written…” “It is written…” And then He replied with God’s Word from memory. So, when the lie came, He knocked it out with the truth.
In Matthew 4:4, it says,
“He answered Satan and said, ‘It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
We cannot experience God’s best for our life without also making this our experience on a very regular basis. We can’t possess the power for transformation on our own.
So, what about you? Are you being shaped more by the world, or by the Word?
To experience God’s best for your life, you may need to take some steps away from the world and begin to take some baby steps toward saying “yes” to God changing you.
Discover what it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ and the spiritual pathway to get you there with Chip’s series, True Spirituality.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip