Struck down, but not destroyed (part 1)

What does it mean to be ‘un’destroyed? 

Well, when I thought about how to describe or define this term the following scripture popped up in my head which I think aptly explains what I mean.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV)

These verses illustrate pain and courage, the apostles suffered affliction everywhere they turned and I can see this most clearly in the Book of ActsThey were thrown into jail, stoned, beaten, ridiculed and more but this never stopped them from pressing on in their work.  The reality of what they were facing could have distressed them and made them feel like they were being hemmed in but they didn’t allow the suffering they experienced to stifle their zeal.  They couldn’t fully comprehend why they were facing so much tribulation, their experiences left them feeling perplexed but even in the midst of mounting uncertainty they still had hope that there was a way out.  At times it seems that people went out of their way to hound them, shut them up and destroy them but even in the midst of this God never left them to the whims of their enemies, He never gave them up to destruction. Continue reading Struck down, but not destroyed (part 1)

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Do not be conformed to the things of this world … putting it to the test

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2

We all struggle with changing our behaviour, our thoughts and our beliefs so that they match up with the Word of God, it’s our human nature.  Human beings tend to behave and think in ways which they feel has the most benefit for them, our behaviours and thoughts are easily modified and swayed by others particularly if it is the reigning norm.  God calls us sheep and indeed we are, we have a tendency to follow others maybe because we think that they know better/more than us or maybe because we don’t want to be seen as being odd.  Human beings like to fit in, we like to belong and feel a part of something bigger than us, it makes us feel more comfortable and secure.  But whether we change our thoughts, beliefs or behaviours because we think that someone else knows better than us or because we want to fit in, we are still being influenced by outside forces, psychologists call this behaviour conformity. Continue reading Do not be conformed to the things of this world … putting it to the test