DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him….The world and its desires pass away but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15, 17.
Satan attacks us on two fronts. He comes at us directly from the outside through people and circumstances; illness, conflict, persecution, treachery, injustice, financial constraints etc. The source of these issues is easy to identify but, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can use these trials to develop our trust in God and to build character – perseverance and hope, as James encourages us to do. We may not always understand what is happening but we can be sure of God’s grace to help us overcome the tests and not become angry or bitter.
A far more subtle approach of the devil is to entice us to focus on satisfying our natural appetites and desires. We are physical beings who relate to the world through our senses. We derive pleasure through what we see, hear, taste, smell and touch. In this way we connect with the world around us. To enjoy the pleasures of our senses is perfectly legitimate but…
Satan’s ploy is to entice us to spend so much time enjoying the pleasures of our world that these things erode our desire for the presence of God and the lasting pleasures of His kingdom. The difference between the pleasures that the world offers and the pleasures of fellowship with God is that worldly pleasures require more to get the same effect while the pleasure of walking with Jesus is lasting and satisfying.
Another, equally subtle problem is that, because worldly pleasures demand more to get satisfaction that does not last, we soon get sucked into addictions which master us, chew us up and spit us out onto life’s garbage dump and Satan laughs because he has got his way. We only wake up when we are hooked.
The Bible has a lot to say about the transience of life. We are like a vapour that is here for a moment and then gone; like a blip on the radar screen of time. We only have this momentary blip in which to plot our course for eternity. Seventy or eighty years, or even a hundred and twenty, pass by like a flash of lightning and then we are gone, but our choice is made and our course set forever.
Our appetites develop according to what we eat. Give a child only junk food and he will refuse vegetables. The key is to eat the right food until we develop an appetite for it. If we choose to “feed” on Jesus long enough by eating His word and spending time with Him, our appetite for Him will grow and the world will lose its allurement for us.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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