What does it mean to conform to the world?

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 (Romans 12:2 KJV)

The Lord gives us a straight and direct commandment to “be not conformed to this world”. What does this mean? Let me briefly look at the words “world” and “conformed”.

The term “world” here is not referring to the earth. It describes  a system or manner of life with its values, beliefs, and morals, which are in opposition to God’s. God is not asking us to leave the earth or isolate ourselves. He is asking us to keep clear boundaries with a system of life which is contrary to His Word.

The word “conformed” essentially means to assimilate the lifestyle or values of the world, or “ to be or become behaviorally or socially similar to; conceived of as being or becoming shaped or molded to a certain pattern”. Satan is mounting a mischievous and deadly attack against the body of Christ that many do not see. He is slowly bringing in the world into the Church. Christianity has stood against the fiercest persecutions from outside. But it will be so easily destroyed, if not of God,  when Satan plants his weeds amongst the wheat, and brings the world into the behaviors of Christians, into what they consider normal or “acceptable to God”, into the messages they preach etc. 

Watch and pray for yourself and for the Church.


What is the difference between the “world” as used in the verse above and the “earth”?


The error we often get into with such commandments is to become religious and start judging one another. This fear has driven us to the other extreme of “it does not matter” or “God cares about the heart only”, etc. The only way to avoid conforming to the world without becoming legalistic is to be led by the Spirit. The world appeals to one thing: the flesh. You do not need a million laws to tell you what is wrong in the world. You need just one law: walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.


Ask the Spirit to help you not to conform to the values, beliefs, and practices of the world. 

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