When I hear people talk about revolution, obedience isn’t usually anywhere on the list. In fact most of the time, the people who talk about revolution are only talking about DISobedience; there is a desire to throw away the restraints that the institutions of society have placed on us not conform to them.
But conformity and obedience are not necessarily the same thing. Maybe that’s just the way that I tend to think of it, but at the end of the day I classify conformity as falling in with the world and obedience as falling in line with God.
The reason I bring this up today is a direct line off of what Jesus spoke to me yesterday and Sunday: our definitions of success are not obedient to God but conformed to this world. I can say to myself “be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your mind” but for some reason I trouble or difficulty applying that same thought to any part of my life that interacts with the world. Specifically I’m talking about every time I’ve tried to act in line with the Father’s heart. Every time I ask myself, “how many people did this effect?” or “will this lead me to greater things in him?” I ask myself questions like “will this grant me greater provision?” and right now I could kick myself a hundred times for every one of those questions.
Not because I was conformed to this world, but because I was trying to conform God to this world rather than being happy with hearing his voice and being obedient to him. I cannot measure or understand what success is so long as I continue to hold onto human measures of it. The kingdom does not conform to the world.
The world says to work hard, invest, get rich, be happy. The Kingdom says “sell everything you have and give it to the poor.”
The world says “it’s not what you know but who you know”. The Kingdom says “no one comes to the Father except through [Jesus].”
The world says “bigger is better, and the more the merrier.” The Kingdom says “there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting.”
This is truth, and I don’t think Jesus is going to change his mind on any of this anytime soon. So why is it I see so many Christians hung up on what this world defines as success and blessing? The world doesn’t bless, God does, but we still have to be obedient to him to recognize his blessings when they come.