“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance…” (1 Peter 1:14 NAS95)
We all struggle with our former lusts—those evil desires that we lived in before we came to Jesus. It is true that we will always face temptation in this life. But temptation is not sin. The problem comes when we indulge in those lusts, when we entertain them, toy with them, and let them reign over us again.
The great danger with fleshly lusts is that we can be conformed to them. The word conformed means to be molded or shaped by something. Think of molten metal being shaped by the mold it is poured into. The metal is formed, shaped, and constrained by the steel dies. In a similar way, we must understand that sinful lusts will mold, shape, and constrain our souls. We may not even realize it is happening, but over time, these lusts will shape our thinking, our attitudes, our outlook, and our interactions with others. Just like steel dies constrain molten metal, evil desires will prevent us from taking the beautiful form that God intends for us to take. Engaging in sinful desires will prevent us from realizing all the wonderful blessings that come from being shaped by the Master.
So, instead of being conformed to our former lusts, what should we do? The next verse says, “… but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior…” (1 Peter 1:15 NAS95) Let us put aside our lusts, our old way of thinking, our old life, and allow ourselves to be poured into God’s mold. We can do just that by pursuing and practicing holiness in all our behavior. Yes, we will fall short at times, we will get tripped up at times by those sinful lusts, but we must press on toward holiness of life. As we do so, God will form us into something wonderful! He will shape us into the image of Himself and of His beloved Son. And as we are conformed to His holiness, He will bring the richest blessings into our lives.
What are you being molded by? What shape is your life taking? May we decide today to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.