Against the Flesh

He says, in Romans 12:2:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The world tells us how things should be.  It tells us the order of things.  I’m finding that not conforming to the “ways of the world” throws most people for a loop.  They scratch their heads.  They don’t understand.  They criticize.  They judge.

Oh, the flesh can be nasty.

Recognizing this, though, is liberating.  It truly is!

Someone recently caught me way off guard.  This person, for whom I have great respect, asked when my oldest son would be coming home.  Small talk.  This is something I’m asked all the time, and I enjoy the opportunity to share about the ongoing ministry.  Before I could finish my reply about his anticipated return, though, this person told me HIS thoughts on what my son should be doing instead.  His exact words were, “I know he’s having fun over there and all, but I’d really like to see him come home and get some college under his belt.”

I was without response.   How do you respond to that?

My son has been following God’s prompting since he was 16 years old.  It was very uncomfortable (for me, not my son) as his senior year in high school was half way finished, and the conversations amongst parent groups revolved around “so what colleges has your child applied to?”.  My son wasn’t applying to college.  It didn’t mean he wasn’t ambitious.  It didn’t mean he wasn’t smart.  It didn’t mean that we, as his family, were slackers.  Just as my son recognized he didn’t have a desire of any kind to go to college, I recognized that I didn’t have the desire to press him on it, either.  Going to school events the end of that senior year….running into parents of his fellow classmates at the grocery store….facing people at church who were preparing to send their kids off to college….it was uncomfortable.  Not because I wasn’t proud of my son’s obedience to a call on his life, but because NOT preparing for college or a military career as a next step in the life of our son was going against the flesh.  It was going against what the world says comes next.

I can say, four years later, as my son’s friends are graduating from colleges, getting married and seeking places to begin a career…I couldn’t be more proud of my son in the choices he’s made and for following the voice of The One who matters most.  Time and time again, God’s blessings over him have been obvious.  Thank you, Lord.  


Father, thank you for your hand’s direction and your soft, quiet voice that offers direction.  Thank you for always teaching, and exercising immeasurable patience.  Lord, I ask that you continue to reveal areas where the flesh binds me and help me instead break free from what the world says I should do, think, or say.  I desire to walk on the path you’ve created for me.  I want to make choices that follow your will.  It’s so easy to conform to the world, Lord.  Please help me conform to the word, instead, so that I can confidently go against the grain, when called to do so.  Amen.

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