not be conformed to this world, but be
Romans 12:2 is a Bible verse in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul is warning us to refrain from being influenced by the world rather than by God and His Word.
From 2001 to 2008 I worked for a company named Jim Rohn International. Jim was a well-known author, speaker and Christian whose philosophies on business and life helped changes the lives of countless of people worldwide.
Jim always said “Be a student - not a follower. Make sure what you do is a product of your own conclusion.” Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world…” Don’t just mindlessly follow ideas, check them out, investigate, tear them apart, and most importantly pray about them.
A major factor in determining how our lives turn out is the way we choose to think.
Everything that goes into our mind in the form of thoughts, ideas and information forms our philosophy. Our philosophy then influences our habits and behavior, and this is really where it all begins.
The next part of Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God…”
Jim would say “philosophy is what you know and what you know determines how your life turns out. But what you don’t know can determine how your life turns out. What you don’t know will hurt you. Ignorance is not bliss.”
Weigh what you know. In other words search out, investigate it. Weigh everything, before you believe it, do it, follow it, buy it…Weigh EVERYTHING. Your philosophy is what you think about, knowledge you have gained through investigation, the conclusions you have made and values you have established.
Jim said “poor thinking habits keep people poor.” Most people work hard, they just don’t think right.
Reading - Jim was a big believer in reading. The Bible is the ultimate book to read, since it is God’s Word. It gives you the roadmap to true success, which is salvation and living out your purpose through God’s will.
Positive Influences – You become like who you hang around. Don’t spend significant time with wrong influences. Don’t copy people. Be your own person, the person God created you to be. It’s easy to follow the crowd, to go along. It takes someone strong in their belief in God and what He has called them to do go against the crowd, to do what sometimes may be very unpopular.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” Cross references:
Observe - What’s going on in your world? What challenges are you facing? What direction are you going? Jim said “most extraordinary opportunities are hidden among seemingly insignificant events in your life.”
Look for the small openings, the glimmer of light in the dark, the clues that God is leaving you. God wants you to be a success in all aspects of life and He has a particular path He wants to guide you on. But you have to be willing to look for those road marks, the clues on what your next step should be.
Proverbs 22:3 says, “The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.”
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
Listen – This is where most of us mess up. We are in such a hurry to let everyone know what we think, that we don’t take time to listen to others…especially God! As I mentioned, God has a plan, but we have to listen to Him to know what that plan is.
1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
We often ask God the right questions, but we don’t listen for the answer. We look for God to speak to us in loud thunderous voice, or come to us in a dream or speak to us through someone else.
With God, all those ways of communicating are possible, but most of the time He speaks to us in that still small voice, that voice where we have to get alone with Him, get quiet, pray, meditate and here is the key…Listen!
Jim would often say we need to “learn to listen to the right voice.”
God has a plan for our life, but He wants us to search it out, weigh it, study it, get around the right people who have positive influence in our Christian walk.
Study the Bible verse of Romans 12:2, read God’s Word, pray, meditate and LISTEN so you can discover the truth!
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