Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2: 15-16
Some Christians might read the passage above and think this does not refer to them. I am not so arrogant. Primarily because I’m constantly humbled. People may be more prone to certain sins than others, but does that mean we should think: Oh, I would never fall into this or that. The Bible tells us haughtiness comes before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Satan is ruled by pride and knows this is our nature (Isaiah 14:12-15). He likes to use our weaknesses, which could involve an area we feel we are strong in. We don’t have our Spiritual guard up in these areas; satan and his minions come around, twist sin, and seek carnal relations.
Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27
Many seek to acquire or partake in some things the world offers, but how does one know if he or she loves the world or not? Desire? Well, we know our desires should be God-led, but there are hidden ways we commit spiritual adultery that we cannot always discern.
We are not to love the world or the things in it. Our desire is to please God in everything we do.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God 1 Corinthians 10:31
We do this because we Love God (Matthew 22:36-40). God is Love. Christians are supposed to be ruled by Love. Throughout the Bible, we learn what true Love is and how it is practiced in our lives. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:21
So we know we are loving the world or things in the world if what we are reaching for, doing, or achieving does not align with the God we love. We can’t love the world and God at the same time. It’s either one or the other. (Matthew 6:24) The Word and Holy Spirit should lead our lives.
Someone once said I was crazy for trying to seek out God out in all areas of my life, such as business and financial choices, etc. Truth is, it is my love for Christ that allows this to happen naturally. I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). This helps me live in the world yet not fall into its seductive traps (even though I still mess up anyway). As I strive to keep Him first place in my life, the Lord helps me continually filter what I should participate in, do, reach for, and even buy.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28)
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Loving the world means you are also participating in fleshly masturbation; you are pleasing yourself, which is a selfish form of self-love.
….For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
For pride of life, we can see pride in what we have. Lust of the flesh and eyes connects to desires for what you don’t have; you crave it. This world is ruled by self pleasure and pride in possessions.
Our flesh and satan constantly attempts to seduce us so that we forget about God, even if it is just for a moment or a few hours. This seduction is done in many ways, such as enticing worldly offerings.
What is your desire? What is truly ruling you? Yes, we will fall, but we still strive not to.
Here are more questions for reflection:
Am I seeking the glory of man or the glory of God? (John 5:42–44)
Am I simply reaching for this job because it makes a lot of money or will give me worldly praise? Will God guide us to be entertained by sin? Which is often glorified in our film, theater, music, or book choices. Would He guide us to be wasteful with His time and money? Are you numbed by sin when your daughter, son, or sister does it? Why am I going to this secular event? To learn, to witness, to please myself, just to join in worldly things? Do you always do what you want to do and never see a struggle between your wants and God’s desires?
Do you do everything unto God? Even when cleaning or going to work? Maybe you go for nature or foraging walks. Do you think, I wonder what lessons God will teach me while reflecting on his creation today. While I’m there, I’ll also be foraging or helping my overall health. Or is it the opposite?
Perhaps when you go to the store you think: I need to pick up some things. While I’m out, maybe God will open an opportunity to share my faith. Or, do you always have the longing desire and hope of sharing your faith with someone, and, of course, you need to pick up a few things.
Who’s (or what’s) first place in your life and what you do? Is it God? Is it you? Your family? Comfort? Pleasing others? These kinds of reflections can help us go deeper to unclothe hidden love for the world, self, and the flesh that we cannot always see so easily. In 1 John 5:4, we see that it is our faith that helps us overcome the world. As love grows, so does our faith.