Give up the Pattern to Receive the Promise
by Crystal Kelly
Romans 12: 1-2 (NIV) “Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.”
The pattern of this world…for some time now these words have stuck out to me almost as much as a bolt of lightning flashing through the sky. The pattern of this world is the very thing that makes the world go round. The pattern of this world is the standard of life dictated by a culture determining who is bad and who is good. Before writing this piece I sat pondering what all that meant. The pattern of this world is a dangerous yet subtle (not always), silent killer. As always when pondering anything and posing a question to God He is so faithful to answer it. The pattern of this world is anti-God. What does this mean? Well for instance something simple as watching a popular television show that glorifies fornication, sexual addictions by making jokes out of it. In other words if you claim to be who you say you are, a set apart child of God, then behave as such.
We are no more perfect than any of the apostles or disciples we are all human following after our Savior and King. We must learn to live set apart, though we are in the world we do not have to be a part of the world. Unfortunately this may cut out almost all shows on the television. Today many shows have couples living together unmarried, fornicating committing adultery, cruel jokes about our God. My dear sisters in Christ we must by no means be a part of this pattern. We must stand in the outskirts and pray consistently for this world that they may see the light.
I was reading through the book of John along with some study notes from a commentator and he remarked how the minds and hearts of men were so dark that they needed a witness (John the Baptist) to draw them to the light. How true is that also today? The pattern of this world is so popular that many Christians have taken on the pattern adopting it into their lives and wondering why they are not having victory in their lives. The answer is simple your hearts and minds are divided between the popularity pot of this world and your decision to still walk with Christ. You cannot do both one will indeed suffer greatly. Let’s not let that be Christ. Decide now to live set apart. Examine your life every area of it and determine if Christ living in you would want you to participate.
Sometimes the most important decisions come with much sacrifice but the reward from our God is so much greater than sacrifice. I invite you along with myself to partake in what it means to live set apart.
Genesis 34:1-2 (NIV) “Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her.”
When I read this especially the words I have bolded it speaks several things to me. Jacob was in a covenant with God and therefore so was his entire household. When Jacob is blessed everyone living among him feels the blessing as well. God requires one thing from us foremost and that is to worship Him through our obedience allowing His glory to shine forth in our lives. When we live in God’s protection we are living in God’s promises.
Dinah became curious about the pattern of the world and decided to step out from underneath protection and she was violated. We also are violated when we choose to step out from living set apart we are violated in our hearts and minds. Our walk with Christ becomes a struggle and we are constantly stumbling.
Determine to turn your eyes away from the world that is screaming for your attention with all of its pleasures and delights and keep your eyes on Christ who has promised you something greater. We are all children of God born of the promise through the blessing of Abraham. It is in good taste for you to know what that promise is.
There will come a time in your life when you will hear God ask you the same question He asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” You don’t want to hesitate or be like the rich man who asked what he must do to follow Christ and went away sad because he refused to give up his riches or luxuries in this world.
Genesis 12: 2-3 (NIV) “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless Genesis 12: 2-3 (NIV) “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 17:1 (NIV) “…I am God Almighty walk before me and be blameless.”
Galatians 4:28 (NIV) “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.”
Wow! What an amazing discovery. You are a child of promise. We are living by grace and redemption through Christ as well as receiving the blessing of Abraham. If you do not know the life of Abraham and how God worked in his life I encourage you to begin reading in Genesis 12. This will help you to paint a picture of what it means to really live set apart.
Do not think for one minute that you have done too many things to receive any promise or blessing from God. That is a lie that you must immediately reject once you hear it. Open your eyes and heart to the word of God and allow the truth to dwell in your innermost being. Then you will be able to accept Revelation 3:8 (NIV) which states, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
There is nothing you have done or will do that God does not already know about and yet He still stands with arms stretched out saying COME. No matter what your past is or your present God sets before you an open door seize the opportunity and allow your life to be changed forever. Let us learn to live set apart now let us live set apart.