(Do Not) Conform
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Do you believe Jesus can lead you into full, abundant life?
I don’t know the details of your story and what you have come to believe about yourself, but I do know this. You were uniquely created to reflect and express the nature of God to the world in a way that no one else can!
You are an eternally valuable, dearly loved child of God. He has deposited dreams and desires within your heart that actually originate from His. Which is why every day heaven and earth wait with eager anticipation to see how you will choose to use your God-given authority to build up and tear down, to plant and uproot, and to powerfully affect change in the world around you.
But we have a very real enemy…this thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
The enemy of our soul is hard at work trying to convince you and me to step away from the love and protection of our Father; in hopes that we will live relationally disconnected from Him, our true identities, and the authority we possess as the children of God.
Ever so subtly He urges us to make our decisions independently, instilling lies and fear within our hearts about the character of God, and His ability to provide for our needs.
“And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4)
Yes, our enemy is cunning; but Jesus came and stripped him of ALL power and authority! Jesus chose to submit himself, trusting that the Spirit would reveal to him the will of the Father and lead him into all truth. Refusing the lies and counteroffers of the enemy, Jesus modeled for us how to walk in the truth and live a powerful life of abundance.
So what does this mean for us?
We do not have to conform!
Every single day we are presented with countless opportunities to conform to the ways of the world and alleviate the pressure we feel by taking ahold of what we can have now, instead of creating space for that still small voice of truth to lead us into what we actually want most.
In doing so, we are coaxed into following a cultural narrative that often prioritizes:
- Busyness over rest
- Worry and anxiety over peace and trust
- Revenge over forgiveness
- Greed over generosity
- Serving ourselves over serving others
- Portraying a false image over living in our true identity
- Overlooking injustices for personal convenience over engaging in God’s redemptive work and being a catalyst for change
This list is by no means exhaustive. I can easily recall occasions when I have chose to conform in every one of these ways, but that is not surprising to me.
I used to be a total conformist.
I walked through a season where the enemy came to steal my joy, kill my hope, and destroy my ability to recognize the authority I had to shut down his schemes as a child of God.
When I was in middle school my mom started developing the first signs of a mental illness that didn’t fully materialize until I graduated high school. It began with subtle changes in her mood and way of thinking, but gradually shifted into a disorder marked by paranoia, along with an intense need for safety and control over her environment and everyone within it…especially me.
I learned very quickly that the easiest way to avoid conflict in my home was to conform. To submit to her demands, change my behavior to suit her liking, and allow my voice to be subdued.
The day I decided to reject a full ride scholarship, which would have allowed me to pursue the dreams that God had embedded within my heart…I finally broke. That was the day I got honest with God and with myself and confessed the truth.
I had been believing a lie.
The enemy had convinced me that I was abandoned by God and my life was far too broken to ever be redeemed. What I realized in that moment is that long before conformity was ever manifested in my actions, it had began as a fear. A fear that informed what I believed; shaping my mindset and the way I approached every situation.
Romans 12:2 says,
“Do not conform 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.”
It was in that vulnerable place of honesty that I felt the overwhelming love of the Father settled over me like a massive blanket of peace. I heard a still, small voice in my heart say,
“I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. Child, you are mine. I am calling you out of your bondage.”
I knew I couldn’t lead myself out of bondage because I had already tried. So I submitted myself to the Father and allowed the Holy Spirit to come liberate me.
Six days later I received an unexpected call informing me that someone had left me a small inheritance and I needed to come sign for it. Then they told me how much I was being given and I just started to weep. It was exactly double the amount I told God I would need in order for me to move out of my mom’s house and buy a reliable car.
Miracles happen when we submit ourselves to the love of God!
I don’t know your story or how Jesus wants to liberate you, but you need to know that His offer to give you full, abundant life is very real. In fact, He is ready and waiting.
My prayer for you is that you would encounter the overwhelming power of the Father’s love and be radically transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you would step into the adventure of giving God your ‘‘yes” and allow the Holy Spirit to work in the details of our story.
Kristi is a dynamic lover of people with an extraordinary story that showcases the tangible love of God. She is a spiritual director and life coach serving the Pacific Northwest and she is passionate about empowering people to walk in their true God-given identity and wholehearted freedom. If you catch her on the street she will most likely be talking to a stranger she just met, listening to some classic Motown music, or window shopping while rocking her favorite pair of Sorel boots.