Hearing God in a Loud Culture
Being born and raised in India for the first twelve years of my life, my Indian culture is very much rooted in me. I love dressing up in saris (someone has to put it on me), I love rice - #riceislife and I love the Indian traditions.
However, my family being so rooted in culture meant that I had to fight for certain things – removing the stigma placed on me because of my anxiety, being able to live out independently during university and choosing a degree that didn’t lead me down a career path of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer.
Girlfriend, my culture may not be the culture you are used to. Maybe the culture surrounding you is a culture of Sunday Christians or even a Christmas Christians – coming every Sunday or just coming for the big events. Maybe the culture around you is one that focuses on physical beauty, one that surrounds selfies and who gets the most likes on Instagram.
It’s a culture that surrounds us all and it’s easy to get sucked into it – been there, done that. It was almost easy to get into a culture of believing that anxiety and panic is taboo and not talked about. It was easy to be sucked into the idea that I had to do a degree where I can work in a hospital – after all, everyone is going to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer.
It wasn’t until Jesus got me out that I saw beyond my culture and saw God’s culture. Everything the Bible says is counter-cultural and so I realised I had to be.
God used Roman 12:2 in the MSG translation to drive it home for me. It says:
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
God showed me how we can be salt and light in a culture that is surrounded by darkness and brokenness. It was easy – one simple step – fix our attention on God. It sounds so simple, almost too simple, but He knows how easy it is to become so well-adjusted to my culture that we fit in without thinking.
When I understood how God saw me, I realised that I can’t just pass my time on earth till I am ready to go home to Jesus but I am called and designed for a special purpose. I can’t just let my culture drag me down and let me believe that success is being in a relationship whereas God has told me success is being content in whatever season you are in and the only way to do that – is to fix my attention on God.
Don’t allow yourself to be dragged down to it’s level of immaturity. It is God who brings out the best in you. It is God who matures you far beyond the current culture. The culture may change by God and His word remains the same, forever.
Let’s go out and become world changers by being counter-cultural, refusing to be conformed to the culture of today and be raised by God who matures us while we keep our eyes on Him.