While reading 2 Kings 17, I was reminded of God’s powerful wrath and multiple warnings to the Israelites. The Lord judged the people of Isreal because they had copied the evil customs of the world and followed their own desires instead of worshiping the one true God.
Recently I have been inundated with messages about false prophets and have been paying close attention to people I follow on social media that are your “big” Christians if you will. I am not going to call anyone out, but I have personally noticed some of these people that I use to admire recently sounding as if they are more concerned with prosperity and self rather than the true Gospel.
Reminder: those that create their own religion tend to live selfishly.
As Isreal learned, to live for oneself brings serious consequences from God.
You can die to self or die for yourself. Die to self means that you take up your cross and proclaim the Good News of Christ, no matter what. Or you can die for yourself – which will end in eternal death.
Determine to be God’s person and do what He says regardless of the cost! What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you. Don’t worry about what others may think – I know, easier said than done. But by reading God’s Word and spending time with my Father, I have learned over time that no one’s opinion of me matters more than that of my Father. By not caring about others’ opinions about you, you can turn away from the customs of the world much more easily.
And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2
Here, Paul warns Christians not to copy the customs and behaviors of the world that are usually selfish and corrupt. But our refusal to conform must go deeper than that. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” – only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our mind are we truly transformed. It is easier as Christians to just avoid worldly customs, but we can still be proud, arrogant, covetous, selfish, stubborn, envious. We have to give these selfish behaviors to God and nail them to the cross – die to self, raise up our cross, and be set apart from the world that values pride, lust and worldly success.
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. - 1 John 2:15-17
What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you.
Don’t be “you” – be God’s person.
Be set apart from the world.