Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Romans 12:2 (ESV)
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 acceptable and perfect.
Did you know that the kudzu plant can grow up to a foot a day and 60 feet in a growing season? Introduced to the US in the late 1800’s as a solution for soil erosion, this popular vine was all the rave. It was even considered to be a trendy way to shade porches – think of the fun Pinterest could have had with that one! Only one problem, there’s no stopping it! Left unchecked, its merciless tendrils can swallow land, trees, and even buildings whole.
The world around us today is much like the kudzu vine, and we are a vulnerable structure that’s in danger of being consumed. But there is hope! Romans 12:2 explains that rather than being conformed to this world, we can seek God and His will instead. The Message Version puts the verse like this, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Our culture, much like kudzu, has a ferocious appetite. But every day, by intentionally seeking God’s will and by letting Him guide the choices we make, we can avoid succumbing to the tendrils of the world around us. Victory comes when we choose God’s Word as the standard to which we compare all else. When we do, our everyday life becomes an offering to Him. Rather than a lifeless, vine-covered bulge, we can stand tall in the landscape around us as a powerful witness for Christ. The Lord promises to transform us from the inside out (2 Corinthians 3:18).
It matters what we hear, see, and say. Barns aren’t swallowed by vine overnight, and neither are we. Cultural influences slowly take over actions and attitudes one leaf at a time until they resemble a new master.
What shape are you in today? Do you stand out and resemble Jesus in the landscape around you? Are there things that need to be thrown out? Are there good practices that need to be encouraged and protected? How will you intentionally grow in the likeness of Christ this year rather conforming to the shapes of this world?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, transform me from the inside out. May your Word penetrate my heart and guide my steps. Help me to be aware of ways that I am taking on the shape of the world rather than you. Sanctify me and grow me in your likeness more each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK
1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.