Leaving The Ways Of The World Behind
From God’s perspective, its pretty clear. You can love the world and God at the same time. But some Christians struggle with letting go of worldly things and end up coming up with justifications to keep on living like the world does. Today, I’m talking about why we should leave the worlds way of living behind us.
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Episode Notes & Bible Verses
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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17
Some people think that worldliness is limited to external behavior, the people we associate with or the places we go, but worldliness is also internal because it begins in the heart. Its characterized by three attitudes.
- Lust of the flesh – preoccupation with gratification physical desires.
- Lust of the eyes – craving and accumulating things and bowing to the god of materialism.
- Pride of life – obsession with one’s status or importance.
These are the three areas that the devil likes to attack.
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:17
Knowing that this evil world and our desires for its pleasures will end can give us courage to control our greedy, self-indulgent behaviour and to continue to focus on doing God’s will.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
Christians are called to “not be conformed to this world” with its behaviours or customs that are usually selfish and often corrupting. Its only with the Holy Spirit re-educates and redirects our minds that we are truly transformed. This should be your pray as a believer.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. – James 4:3-4
There is nothing wrong with wanting a pleasurable life. God gives us good gifts that he wants us to enjoy. But having friendship with the world involves seeking pleasure at others expense or at the expense of obeying God. A pleasure that keeps us from God is sinful.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23
Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from His point of view. But this spiritual insight can be easily clouded. Self-serving desires, interest and goals block that vision. Serving God is the best way to restore it. A clear eye is on that that is fixed on God.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – Matthew 6:24
Jesus contrasted heavenly values with earthly values when he explained that our first loyalty should be to those things that do not fade, cannot be stolen and never wear out. We should not be fascinated with our possessions and if we are they might possess us.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21
In order to follow the Holy Spirits guidance we must deal with out sinful desires decisively… which is why it goes on in verse 24 to say crucify the flesh. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they do not have a transformed heart.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:10
Greed leads to all kinds of evil like marriage problems, robbery and blow-ups in partnerships. To master greed, you must control it at its root. It is wrong to want to accumulate money just to say that you have it. Money is a tool to be used to advance Gods purposes in your life and as fast as it comes is as fast as it can go. So don’t make it the centre of your daily focus because it has the potential to consume and corrupt your life.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. – Romans 8:13
“Putting to death the deeds of the body” means regarding as dead the power of sin in your body. When we regard sin’s appeal as dead and lifeless, we can ignore temptation when it comes.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:14-16
The church in Laodicea had become lukewarm and as a result became distasteful and repugnant. The believers didn’t take a stand for anything and indifference lead to idleness. By neglecting to do anything for Christ the church became hardened and self-satisfied. Don’t settle for following Christ halfway. Let Christ fire you up your faith and get you into the action.