“And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God’s will is–that will which is good and beautiful and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 WNT).
When it eventually dawned upon Pharaoh the king of Egypt that God had come down to deliver, redeem and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, he began to negotiate with Moses to keep them in Egypt, under his government, dominion and influence.
Pharaoh was willing to offer the children of Israel a respite from their slavery and hard labour. But, Moses rejected all Pharaoh’s offers (Exo. 8:25-28; 10:8-11, 24).
Moses rejected all Pharaoh’s offers and refused to reach any compromise with him because he knew that God wanted the children of Israel to come out of Egypt in order to become a holy, distinct and peculiar nation under Jehovah’s government, a special people living and walking according to God’s laws and principles.
Having brought the children of Israel out of Egypt by His outstretched arm, God clearly revealed His intention or purpose to them from Mount Sinai through Moses.
4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
6 ‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (NKJV).
While the children of Israel journeyed to the Promised Land, Moses was constantly reminding them of God’s intention or purpose for calling them out of Egypt.
6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
7 “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
8 “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (NKJV).
God redeemed the children of Israel from the house of bondage in order to set them apart unto Himself as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Similarly, God has redeemed His children today from this evil world in order to set them apart unto Himself as a royal priesthood and a holy nation to proclaim His praises to the world.
Apostle Peter aptly reveals this truth.
1 Peter 2:
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (NKJV).
Apostle Paul also affirms this truth.
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV).
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. (NKJV).
As a born-again believer, you have been called, chosen and redeemed from this evil world system unto God. Therefore, you are not expected to live and operate like the world (the unbelievers), but you are commanded by Christ to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (NKJV).
Paul also admonishes us not to follow the customs of this present age.
1 I plead with you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of God, to present all your faculties to Him as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to Him. This with you will be an act of reasonable worship.
2 And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God’s will is–that will which is good and beautiful and perfect. (WNT).
Having been redeemed from the house of bondage, sadly, the children of Israel never ceased to imitate the Gentiles around them. Though they were in a covenant relationship with the true and living God, yet they were always running after and flirting with the gods of the Gentile nations around them.
They perpetually forsook God’s commandments, adopted the customs and ways of life of the Gentiles. This is what is called “spiritual harlotry.”
Similarly, many believers today having been redeemed from the world, like the children of Israel, are committing spiritual harlotry with the god of this world by seeking and striving to conform to and live by the values, ways, customs, maxims, principles, or standards of this present evil age.
The truth is this; the present world system is primarily under the influence of Satan. The Scripture testifies that “we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19 NKJV).
The system of this world which is under the influence of the devil is essentially characterized by lusts or fleshly cravings (2 Pet. 1:4).
The Scripture reveals, “For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
The unbelievers are completely under the sway, dominion or influence of Satan.
The Scripture describes all those walking according to the course of this world, as being “under the sway of the Prince of the Powers of the Air, the spirit who is now working among the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2 MNT).
Therefore, when you as born-again believer choose to pattern or model your life after any unbeliever regardless of his status or fame in the society, his achievements in business, his successes in career, or his influences in the politics; you are simply breaching your covenant relationship with God.
This is spiritual harlotry!
Beloved, you are spiritually flirting with the god of this world, yielding yourself to him, and operating under his influence if you are adopting the standards of this world to measure or determine your success and progress in life.
The unbelievers measure their lives by their material acquisitions or possessions, successes, business accomplishments, financial incomes, or savings in the bank. However, it is wrong for you as a believer to measure your life by such standards.
As a believer in Christ, you are expected to measure your life by God’s Word. God’s standard for your life is His Son, Jesus Christ. You are called, chosen or predestined by God to be conformed fully to the image or likeness of Christ.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (NKJV).
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (NKJV).
The Scripture warns that when you are seeking and striving to please and befriend the world by adopting and conforming to the customs, values, ways, principles, or standards of the world; you are simply making yourself an enemy of God, for friendship with the world is enmity with God.
Therefore, beware of spiritual harlotry!
James warns against friendship with the world.
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (NKJV).
John also warns against loving the world.
1 John 2:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (NKJV).
Likewise, Paul warns us against being unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
2 Corinthians 6:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”(NKJV).
Peter also admonishes us not to conform ourselves to our former lusts.
1 Peter 1:
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my spiritual harlotry. I disentangle myself today from the bondage of this world. I refuse to adopt the standards of this world to measure my life, or conform myself to my former lusts, in Jesus’ name. Amen.