Yesterday on Facebook I posted a quote, “We have created a group of professional church-goers who know when to stand up, when to sit down, and when to say ‘Amen.’ The problem is there is very little change happening in our churches.” The saddest part of this is this problem isn’t just in the pews, it is also in the pulpit. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I think a question that we must all ask ourselves is this, am I being conformed or transformed?
To be conformed means to make like or to fashion after something. When I come to church am I conforming myself and my image into the acceptable image of the church I attend? In other words, Am I becoming more and more like those I worship with? This may not be an all together bad thing, especially if you worship in a godly church where it is all about Him and not about them. But what if you attend a church that is not healthy and that is more people-centered than God-centered? This goes to what is known as “the mob mentality.” What that means is that as an individual you may talk, act, and live one way, but when you get into a group setting, you begin to take on the characteristics of that group. It happens more often than we would like to think. I heard one church strategist put it this way, after a number of years of a pastor being at the church, the church body begins to take on the personality of their pastor. What a scary, scary thing for myself as a pastor to think about! This means that I must not only speak of godly character, but that I must also make sure I live it out so that I as Paul can say “follow me as I follow Jesus” (1 Corinthians 11:1). But is conformity to a pastor or a church what God calls us to?
The most important word in Romans 12:2 is the word transform which means to be changed. It is my belief that God does not call us to be conformed to anything or anyone that is on earth, but that we would be changed by the One who is heaven. When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, He didn’t create a “better” you, He made you a “new ” you according to 2 Corinthians 5:17. In other words, He didn’t conform you, He transformed you. This transformation is not a one time thing, it is a lifetime thing. God’s desire is to continually transform (change) you so that you will be conformed (made like) to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). If we desire to be like anyone, please don’t make it a pastor, a deacon, a Sunday school teacher, or someone other person other than the One who sought you and bought you with His precious blood!
Everyday when you read the Bible and when you pray multiple times throughout the day, may you read and pray seeking God to transform you. We should pray, Lord change me that I may become more like you. When we come to worship we should come with the expectancy of meeting with God and being changed by God. Every time you come into the house of God, God desires to reveal Himself to you and to your church. It isn’t about the music, it isn’t about how long the service is, it isn’t about how good or bad the preaching is. When we come into the house of God it must be about how God is going to change me and the body to make us look more like Him and be fit for His use. I promise if you come to Sunday worship asking God to change you through worship today, and you are sincere about it, God will change you and you and I will be better for it.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!