Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Special Guest Writer: Andrelana Miller

Friends in Christ,

Join me in welcoming my special guest today, Andrelana Miller, as she shares what God placed on her heart. Please leave a comment and show some love to another writer who's using her gift for the Lord!


Conformity

Many people on earth are unwilling to conform. To them conformity means to lose their identity. So they decide to stay apart from the trends of society. Many others chose to conform. To them conformity means they can actually fit in. So they decide to blend in and follow the norms of society.

To conform is to act in accordance or harmony; to comply; to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc. of society or a group; to be or become similar in form, nature, or character.

Those that are familiar with the scripture Romans 12:2 have a sense on what they should not conform. “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.” There is a precedence that it basically means “sinful nature” of the world. Oh, I don't drink, smoke, curse, go to the club, and don't have sex outside of marriage. I'm good, I'm not conformed to the world! And yes, those are all well and good. But being conformed to the world is not just looking like the world; it is conforming to the mindset that opposed to the mindset of Christ. Better yet, it is conforming to a contradictory image that opposed to the image that God has laid out for us.

We as woman many times can tend to compare and contrast ourselves to society, especially to other women. We see women that may be prettier, not as pretty, thicker, thinner, better clothes, not as good clothes. And yeah, there are those women who snub their noses at the sight of women that they think they are better than. But many of us are women who compare and contrast and talk down of ourselves. Either way gets you off focus of the image of God.

Look at the verse before it, Romans 12:1. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Conforming takes the three components of a person. Their spirit, their soul, and their body. You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body. Whatever you spirit follows, your soul and body will yield. To present our body as a presentable sacrifice to God takes connecting our spirit with the Word of God and putting that Word into motion. And when you are not connected with the Word and putting it into motion, you leave room for other things to be above Him.

Mark 4:19 (Amplified Bible) says “Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”

This verse is taken from Jesus' explanation of his parable to the sower message. In earlier verses, He talks about the sower who is sowing seeds in different types of ground, and there were some seeds that fell among thorns. Verse 19 is the parallel to the thorn reference. You cannot produce fruit when you are in not in good ground and surrounded by thorns. In addition, the problem does not start when we let cares, anxieties and distractions of the world choke the Word, it starts when we let the thorns surround our sowing ground or even planting your seed (the Word) around them in the first.

And there nothing with pursuing dreams and goals, building businesses and enjoying those benefits except when you are not following the will of God in those pursuits and when you are putting those things above Him. Like in Matt 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you.”
Rom 10: 17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

I recently learned that faith is hearing the anointed Word of God. Faith has to have a basis. Faith in God is based on what God told you. Other than is presumption or something that is taken for granted. You have to have the word of the Lord. Primarily this hearing of the word this scripture is talking about hearing it in a word-based church or a word-based ministry. But it's not just limited to that. It also comes when we take it in our personal time with God and confess the Word over our lives, usually audibly.

Rom 8:29 states “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

This verse spoke volumes to me when I received it. I would look at the verse before, and whenever I read the next verse, and it wouldn't stick it. I remember it was about two years ago, I read that verse and it seemed like I never read it (which actually I did, not to the receiving). For me personally, I came into the understanding why I was the firstborn child of my family and why I saw myself grasp things about God in my teens that adults almost twice my age were confounded by. I was predestined to be made in the image of God so that could be the example before my natural brothers, my spiritual little brothers and sisters, and even my peers and elders. And being the firstborn of my family, it spoke to me because I was the big sister that that was placed in the position to guide my younger brothers.

God created us in his image and his sent his Son to earth to be a living example for us to conform to his image. Then Jesus died for us, especially for our sins, but also to show us how sin and death is no longer something that we have to conform to because He took that on the cross. And yes we have to crucify our flesh to be conformed to his image, yet it is the first for us in choosing life, new life in Him.

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Andralena Miller is a writer who presently resides in Texas. She obtained a bachelor's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and then joined the U.S. Army where she was trained as a photojournalist. She is currently an editorial assistant and a reporter at the Central Texas newspaper, Killeen Daily Herald. Her desire is to be used by God to enlighten and encourage others through her gifts. You can visit more of Andrelana at her Myspace.

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