worldly influence vs. Spirit influence

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“A steady diet of [these] worldly influences will shape our view of what is valuable, what is beautiful, and what is important in life.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The these this author is referring to includes television, friends, magazines, movies, and malls.

The older I get, the more I realize just how vital it is to be aware of what I allow into my mind. And even more important, for me, mindful of what I allow to remain there.

I say ‘aware of what I allow’ because while sometimes I can’t help seeing a billboard driving down the interstate, more often than not, it’s my choice. 

And I am personally convicted that “worldly” doesn’t only refer to the sinful culture surrounding us. It refers to anything not of God, which for me, can mean opinions of others, idols that promote distraction, material wealth, or body image pressure.

I think of Dallas Willard and his thoughts on our formation as people.

Spiritual formation in Christ transforms your embodied will. It transforms your embodied will so that what comes out of you automatically are the words and deeds of Christ. Now we never get to the point where we can stop thinking about our responses. We will always have to reflect. We will always have desires we should not act upon. There’s nothing wrong with desires in themselves. It’s when they become our masters that the wrong comes, which is the common circumstance in human life.

How do I want to be formed? What is shaping me into the woman I am?

The Instagram-famous-fitness-superstar being my standard of health and beauty isn’t going to do a lot for my Christlikeness. 

Being overjoyed by another’s approval and depressed at their rejection won’t work to create greater intimacy with my Heavenly Father.

Adopting all the new trends or shopping online every evening will not contribute to my learning contentment in Christ or generosity. 

I hope I’m being clear, and not too terribly harsh on our culture. (Although it is a broken, sinful world, so maybe a little harshness is okay.)

Shopping may not tempt you to envy or materialism. Following ally the social media accounts may never lead you into comparison.

What I am saying is that I want Holy Spirit, by way of Scripture, to do the majority of shaping my perspective and attitude toward life.

We are influenced and formed by the humans we hang around, the content we read, and the activity we engage in. That’s inevitable.

But, I think we can intentionally choose Who we want to be the leader of our formation.

“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 12:2 NLT

This is an active, not passive, process, one that requires our clear-headed and relentless participation. Dallas Willard

Divine grace is God acting in our life to accomplish what we cannot do on our own. 

Today I ask Holy Spirit to quarry deep inside me. I invite Him to graciously root out and call attention to tendencies or habits I have that hinder my spiritual clarity and God-eyes. I crave quick confidence in my choices because I have spent time in God’s Presence. I desire to be a source of refreshment to those around me because I’ve spent time learning God’s opinion on things. 

I pray these things for myself, and for you if you’re reading this.

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