A few days ago I was doing a morning devotion under the heading “The Faith Lifestyle” My conviction was to tease out the concept of “faith” a little bit to give more context the text I was reading with hopes of gaining traction in my faith lifestyle. Especially since the challenge of devotion for the day was to grow in my faith – surrendering as a servant to God, learning to love with His love, and living in the peace He gives. Three commentaries and two dictionaries later I found myself meditating how indispensable authentic faith is to endeavor. This got me to thinking…How authentic – pleasing to God – is my faith? This is super-important because the Scripture tells us that without authentic faith it is impossible to please God.
Romans 12:2 was the proof text that my mind camped on. In this verse the apostle Paul exhorts his contemporaries and future followers of Christ, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and acceptable and perfect.”
In this context, testing refers to finding out how beneficial, powerful, and effective the will of God is. Subsequently, the faith of someone who claims to be a follower of Christ is authenticated not by adapting to the norms and values of their business, neighborhood, ideology, church, support group, and/or etc. “in Jesus name” but by submitting to the authority of the Scripture and convictions of the Holy Spirit to renew them from inside out.
Moreover, the Scripture makes it clear that authenticating one’s faith by looking to anyone other than Christ Jesus, i.e., the author as well as archetype of the Christian faith, or any source other than the God-inspired Scripture, i.e., beneficial for nurture and correction, is exposing oneself to the imminent risk of eternal ruin. Who needs that!?! Not me!
Consequently, the challenge has been to discipline myself to more regularly examine my lifestyle in light of Scripture with a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s convictions to identify areas where I may be conformed the norms and values of my surrounding culture(s) that are conflict with authentic faith.
What are some ways you find yourself resisting conformity to your surrounding culture? What are some ways your life has been transformed by God renewing your mind? Do you see influences of “world” captivating the evangelical church? If so, how can we collectively pray for the evangelical church to be renewed and transformed?
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