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5th December: Going Against the Stream

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:2 (AV)
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Rom 12:2 (GNB)

We all should be nonconformists! J B Phillips paraphrased the idea: `Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould'. Constant pressures operate to squeeze us into the shape of our environment, so that we lose our distinctiveness as pilgrims and foreigners, whose citizenship is in heaven and who standards are determined by the King of Kings. `The world is too much within us...getting and spending we lay waste our powers', writes Wordsworth.

This is a battle for the mind. Unthinking reading, uncensored viewing, unwise companionships, may each poison our thinking. God's answer is the miracle of metamorphosis. As we expose our minds to the influence of the Holy Spirit by the reading of the Bible and obedience to its teaching, the inner man is renewed day by day. Pilgrim at the house of Interpreter did not understand the secret of the fire that always burned, until he was taken to the other side of the wall and saw the figure clothed in white pouring in a constant supply of oil.

Shall we lay our life in all its aspects before God and ask of our conduct:

Does it glorify God?
Does it promote my Christian life or endanger it?
Does it help my weaker brother?
Does it promote my witness or hinder it?
Does it please the Holy Spirit or grieve him?
Does it lead me into God's will or out of it?
Does it adorn the doctrine?

Further reading: 2 Cor 3:18. Heb 11:13-16. Phil 4:8. Eph 1:15-23.

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