Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world”
Farmers in Zentsuji, Japan, are preparing and have been for some time now, full-grown watermelons for shipment; however, these are no ordinary melons, because they are square! They were placed in tempered-glass cubes while they were still growing. Why would anyone want a square watermelon? They’re much easier to store in a refrigerator. It’s rather amusing to think how a naturally round watermelon can become square because of the shape of the container in which it’s grown. While reading about these square shaped watermelons, I was reminded of the forces in our present world system that tries to pressure, influence, and shape or mold us in conforming to their way of thinking and living. So, is your living room the site of daily murders? Do you routinely entertain guests who swear at you, make fun of your faith or take the Lord’s name in vain? Have you ever had somebody drop by and try to convince you that sexual sin is a joking matter and that violence is entertaining? My friend, you’ve had all these things happen in your house if you’ve watched many of the programs on television. This isn’t late-breaking news. The moral content of television has been on the decline for so many years; however, that doesn’t mean we have to go down with it. That’s why in Romans 12 we are told not to be “conformed to this world,” but to be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” The idea is rather simple. We are to allow the transforming Word of God to work within us and produce outward results, instead of permitting external pressures to shape us. Thus, if we meditate on God’s Word daily, it will influence our thoughts and help us grow to be more like Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Then we will act in a manner that pleases Him. My brethren, pressures of the world will continue to try to shape our character, but they will not succeed if God’s precious Word is changing us from within. Someone stated it this way, “If we are being transformed by the Word, we won’t be conformed to the world”.
Having flown many times in an airplane, I always like to look out the window of the plane and look down on the winding paths of rivers and waterways below. Except for some man-made waterways, all rivers have one thing in common – they all are crooked. The reason is simple because they follow the path of least resistance. Rivers find their way around anything that blocks their flow because they take the easy way. My friend, the same can be said for some people. Because they fail to resist the devil, they yield to temptation and deviate from the path God would have them follow. Unlike Daniel, who “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8), they bend to worldly pressures and compromise what they know is right. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, John said that we can be victorious in our struggle against evil, because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Thus, rather than being overcome and conformed to the world, we can be over comers. In the Bible, the “world” is a system controlled by Satan, who operates through cultures that have little regard for God and especially His Word. Believers in Christ must live in their culture, but they dare not take their lead from it. You may like me make your living today in the world of business, or go to school in the world of education, or enjoy entertainment in the world of music or media. However, beware because the world-system in which we live is enemy territory because it isn’t neutral. You could define worldliness as anything that makes sin look attractive and righteousness look silly. Thus, we are worldly whenever we live, love and choose on the same basis as people who don’t know or love God. He wants us to be in the world, but not to be of it.
Let me walk with You, dear Savior,
Side by side and hand in hand;
Keep me clean and pure and faithful
Till I reach the heavenly land
We live in the world, but the world must not live in us.