It seems like this same old problem has been around since forever: people want to be like everyone else. The root cause for disobedience is the desire to be accepted and admired by others. Just like the Israelites were hoping to be like the other nations.
“‘What you’re secretly thinking is never going to happen. You’re thinking, “We’re going to be like everybody else, just like the other nations. We’re going to worship gods we can make and control.” (Ezekiel 20:32, MSG,*, emphasis added)
But it’s not just the Israelites who want to be like the other nations. It is us today, right this minute, wanting to be like everyone else, wanting to worship gods we can control. Lord, have mercy!
We want to have our cake and eat it too. But that’s not God’s way. God wants us to be his and only his. God wants us to trust him and only him (not any other forms of security). God wants us to be holy like he is holy. And that does not happen if we want to be like everyone else.
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2, AMP,*, emphasis added)
Holy in Hebrew, qadosh, literally means “to be set apart”. So God is something else all together. God is distinct from anything and everything. God is totally different from us. Yet we are called to imitate and reflect God’s holiness. We are “to be set apart”, too. We can’t keep on doing what we used to do when we did not know God. We can’t be like everyone else if we want to be God’s holy children.
Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” (1 Peter 1: 14-16, MSG,*)
What to do then? Turn to God and let yourself be pulled into a way way of life shaped by God’s grace. It is the best thing ever, so don’t hesitate. If you’re struggling with the desire to be like everyone else, give even that to the Lord. He can change it into a life energetic and blazing with holiness. Because he is God Almighty, totally different from us.
Thank you for being holy
and wanting us to be holy.
We confess that we desire to be like everybody else.
Forgive us, Lord.
Make us desire to be holy and
make us holy like you.
Shape us, change us according to your plans.
Pull us into a life energetic and blazing with holiness
just the way you meant it to be.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you desire to be like everyone else? How do you deal with it?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit pull you into a way of life shaped by God’s life!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]