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.
In Romans, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to resist the innate desire to conform. Recently, I was inspired by a colleague’s e-mail to reflect on this notion. He used the phrase, “do not be pressed into the scheme of this age.” This analogy instantly produced a mental picture of a factory. One in which a material was poured into a mold in order to produce the desired product. Prior to the process the material does not have a useable shape nor a define purpose. However, after the substance enters the mold it begins to take shape. As the process progresses, the material hardens and leaves the assembly line as a finished product with a define shape and purpose.
We are somewhat like this material. We entered into this fallen world as fallen creatures. We are substance with predispositions to sinfulness. However, God is good and freely gives grace to His creation. As a result, we have a free-will choice to choose our form. We can either chose to allow this fallen world to press us into the prefabbed molding of sinful behavior or decide to be transformed by conforming to scripture. One way will produce a person who displays an ungodly life while the other will result in an individual who exhibits Christ-like qualities.
The outcome is not predetermined. Therefore, it is fitting to be reminded of the exhortation in Romans 12:2 which declares that each Christian must daily resist conformity to worldly ways and submit to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.