Thursday, May 29, 2008

Are you being transformed or conformed?

"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. Then you will know what God wants you to do."
—Romans 12:2

Once, a flock of wild geese was flying south for the winter when one goose looked down and noticed a group of domestic geese by a little pond near a farm. He noticed they had plenty of grain to eat. Life seemed good on the farm and he thought to himself, “Why am I doing all this work when they look like they have it made. I’ll join them and take a much needed break.”

So he flew down and hung out with these geese until spring. He enjoyed the food that was there, all the while getting fat and lazy. He decided that he would rejoin his flight of geese when they went north again. After all, what harm could this bring? The other geese appeared happy and content.

When spring came, he heard the wild geese overhead and flew up to join them, but he had grown a bit fat from all of the seed. Flying was difficult and required work he didn’t like, so he decided to spend one more season on the farm and then rejoin the geese on their next winter migration. After all, life on the farm was good. Putting off getting back to his life’s mission another few months couldn’t be that bad – could it? He couldn’t believe what he had been missing all those years.

When the geese flew south the following fall, the goose flapped his wings a little, looked up, but he just kept eating his grain. He had simply lost interest. His former way of life had been interrupted by his complacency and the cozy, comfortable lifestyle he had come to love. He lost his real purpose and true way of life. Now his only purpose was to be come fattened till the farmer made him into a main course for supper.

That is what happens in the subtle process of the world influencing our lives. A little compromise here and some settling and laziness there and its not long before we are completely away from the life God intends for us. It is not necessarily dramatic, nor does it usually happen overnight. It is gradual, causing erosion in our lives as we begin to lower our standards. Soon, the things of God become less appealing, and the things of this world become more appealing. After a while, we have no interest in the things of God and we are “fat and happy” doing our own thing – even though it will lead to destruction.

I heard a story of a wolf hunter in Alaska that would put blood on the end of a knife and stick it in the ground. The wolf would lick the dried blood on the knife, cutting its tongue in the process. Little by little, the thirst for blood would cause the wolf to lick its own blood caused by the knife, eventually causing so much blood loss that the wolf would either die or become so weak that capture was inevitable.

Are you slowly being pulled away from the things of God to the things of this world? Has sin crept into your life to the point that you are “ok” with what used to appall you? Do your selfish desires outweigh your Godly desires? Evaluate your life. Investigate your choices. What is your motivation for living? Does it match God’s intention for your life? We have a choice: either we will be conformed to this world, or we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is one or the other. Which way will you go?

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