In this post I want to talk about how we conform to the world and how that is impacting on our ability to live a truly abundant life.
I was listening to a training by one of my favourite faith mentors the other day and he said something insightful that led my mind down an interesting journey.
He was commenting on how from the moment we are born that God has given us the ability to imagine and fantasise, for example, if you keep kids away from the TV, mobile and tablets they will begin to use their God-given imagination to create all kind of things. They will imagine themselves as a dragon, a superhero, a princess, whatever and then they’ll bring cardboard boxes, blankets, books and tables and create a whole world out of it.
You can probably remember doing this yourself and it was soooo easy, you didn’t have to try hard to create that world did you?
No one told you how to do it, you just would. And without fail go anywhere in the world and left without any adult direction or external influences, a child will dream and imagine and create another reality from out of their imagination.
This is part of YHWH’s creative ability within us, it’s a powerful thing really because all thoughts precede what we actually create.
But how comes as we get older we lose this creative ability?
You might have already guessed the answer, adult influence. There came a time in your life when you were told to stop dreaming, living in a fantasy land and get your head out of the clouds. You were told that “real life” doesn’t work like that and if you want to get anywhere in life you have to leave your childish ways behind.
And just like that, make-believe and play-acting are no longer cute or acceptable, and on top of that, the modern education systems teach children to stop thinking creatively and to start thinking in order to learn and pass exams.
This brought my mind to the mention of Children in the Gospel. Yeshua said that we should be like little children, we often think it’s because of their simplicity and believing nature and it is, but I also think that there is more to it than this.
Have you ever looked at a young child and thought about how free they are, how easy it is for them to just be them? And have you ever watched a baby or toddler and marvelled at their innocence and how close to God they seem to be? I have, in fact whenever I see a baby laughing and gurgling looking at a blank spot on the roof or in the distance, I often think that they can see an angel and they are having a jolly good old time playing with them.
At this young age, they are still wide open and “new”, their “I Am-ness” hasn’t been corrupted by outside influences, they have not conformed to the patterns of the world… yet!
You might know where I’m heading now, but Romans 12:2 warns us against conforming to the patterns of this world. A pattern is defined as an example or model that we can follow, and that’s exactly what society does, it provides us with how we should be in the world in order to be successful, to fit in, be loved etc. ALL things that the enemy knows that we desire.
No wonder when Yeshua was in the wilderness that the enemy tempted Him with these things, he was basically asking Him to conform to the pattern of the world and Yeshua turned around and said “NO!”.
How many of us really say “No”? It also made me think of the scripture that says “Delight yourself in YHWH and He will give you the desires of your heart”. This verse is so deep, and something I get into in the 6-month coaching training I do with clients but in a nutshell, we are called to delight our WHOLE SELF in the I AM (YHWH) and as a result of this we begin to experience the desires of our heart.
Most people have no idea of who they really are, let alone what they truly desire, so HOW can we worship YHWH with our true selves when we have lost sight of WHO we are?HOW can we worship YHWH with our true selves when we have lost sight of WHO we are? Click To Tweet
The Jewish people often repeat the Shema, based on Deut 6:5, the one that invites them to worship God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. The issue that many Christians face when it comes to worship is the struggle to worship God authentically and still feel like they are receiving the things that they feel society offers them. This highlights an underlying belief and fear, the belief that God can’t really fulfil the desires of your heart (as per the teachings and indoctrination of the world). There is a desire to worship God but it’s tinged with anxiety and fear that if they let go of what they have learnt then they won’t really get the things they’ve been working so hard striving and pursuing all this while. I mean, if most of your life you’ve been told to go left and it seems God is telling you to go right, of course, there’s going to be a struggle!if most of your life you've been told to go left and it seems God is telling you to go right, there's going to be a struggle! Click To Tweet
Have I hit on something there? Well, I talk from experience and God has definitely had to do some cleaning and renewing work on me to feel comfortable about letting go of those limiting beliefs and ways of being.
Which brings me to the last bit.
If we follow through with Romans 12, God is basically saying that He wants US (not our mind, our WHOLE self) to be Trans-formed by (via) the Re-Newing of our Minds.
To be transformed means to take something of one shape and characteristic and change it into something else. Here’s the thing, conforming to a pattern for so long has changed you, and it’s not God’s pattern it’s the worlds. You’ve taken that pattern to be the truth, the way and the life when it isn’t. It’s changed you from the inside out and you’re struggling to experience and live an abundant life because you’re following the wrong pattern.
The Good News is this, that God has made a way for you to be renewed and transformed back again to how you were when He first created you. He wants to you to go back to your default pattern, your true I AM nature where it becomes so easy for you to commune and fellowship with Him. Has religion made you weary? Well, when you were young and innocent, you didn’t need religion to tell you HOW to worship God, every child knows that there is a God, they worship God in a personal, intimate and authentic way and God hears them. That’s what we have forgotten but the Bible says, we don’t need anyone to teach us because we have the Ruach (Spirit). How liberating is that?
Honestly, don’t make it harder than it needs to be, that’s why there is way too much fear in the church. Discovering this truth for myself, that it’s more than OK to do me with God is liberating. It doesn’t matter if your my way of worshipping Him is different to yours and vice-versa as long as it’s real. God can do so much with a soul that approaches HIm in this way.
And here’s a bonus. You’ll tap into your unique creative potential which is in alignment with what you desire and God’s will for you by simply allowing yourself to be you.
I know I’ve gone into it a little bit with this blog post, as I said this is the kind of content cover in my coaching work. Want to know a bit more about what that programme looks like, you can find out more here.