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Summary: To conform or not to conform you can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr

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Heaven’s Heroes, Isaac & Jacob

Isaac and Jacob were both looking for the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham, they were both close to death yet they continued to act in faith, confident that God would bring to pass His sovereign plan.

The accounts of Isaac and Jacob in Genesis are both filled with examples of their acting in faith yet here in Hebrews 11 the Holy Spirit has decided to only mention the events prior to their death. When death is near people will often resign themselves to the inevitable accepting without question what is forced upon them, Isaac and Jacob both refused to conform to the inevitable and to what was expected of them, this was not a result of becoming old and stubborn but because their faith in God made them "non-conformist".

The message the Holy Spirit wants the reader to receive from these final acts of faith in the lives of Isaac and Jacob is that the child of God should always refuse to conform to any thing that is contrary to the Word and Will of God.

The Church of Christ and the individual Christian will only grow in God when they refuse to conform or follow the pattern of this world.

The history of the Church is filled with examples of non-conformist who refused to allow the State, traditions, men and even religion dictate to them how they should worship and serve God. John Wesley refuse to conform to the clergy who insisted on locking themselves away from the people, he was prepared to obey God and go to where the people were, his courage to go against the tide resulted one of the greatest revivals our nation has experienced.

CALLED TO NON-CONFORMITY

The apostle Paul calls us to be non-conformist in a world filled with pressure to conform. Satan is called the "god of this world" he controls and influences the patterns {or ways of living } of this world so as to blind people to the truth of God’s Way who is Jesus { Rom 12:2, 1Pet 1:14}.

If the reason behind a persons actions is because every one else is doing it, then they are conforming to the ways of this world. For example if you get drunk at the week-end because every one else does it then you are conforming to the ways of this world, if you claim state benefit while you are working or if you take sick leave when you are not sick because every one else does it then you are conforming to the ways of this world, if you dress in a way to turn the opposite sex on or if you have sex outside marriage because every one else does it then you are conforming to the ways of this world. The ways of this world that are contrary to the Word and Will of God are sin to the child of God { Prov 1:6 & 15, 14:12, } and as the Psalmist says "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked" Ps 1:1.

THE PRESSURE TO CONFORM

Isaac and Jacob where both faced with cultural, family, social and physical pressures to conform to the pattern or ways of their world.

Isaac blessed Jacob the younger of his two sons, Jacob blessed Ephraim the younger of his two grand sons these acts went against cultural, family and traditional norms, even the law said they both should have blessed the eldest child. Isaac was deceived into blessing Jacob, pressure form Esau demanded that his fathers blessing on Jacob be removed, Joseph disapproved and tried to stop Jacob blessing Ephraim { Gen 27, 48 }.


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