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.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- 1 John 2: 15-17 (King James Version = KJV)
This passage of scripture took me a while to understand. There are lots of things to enjoy in the world. And that's the danger. I'll use the analogy of a kid in a candy store: so much is offered, and it's tempting to want it all, even when you know you can't possibly afford everything you want.
The more we obtain, whether it's wealth, possessions, status - also known as fame (including social media status), pleasure, or knowledge, the more we will want. That's human nature.
While God did create us with free will, He also sent us His Word (the Bible) to guide us through life. He wants to provide for our needs, but He wants us to lean and depend on Him. He deserves our love, praise, and worship. If we take our focus off of God and Jesus Christ, we can get distracted by what's going on around us and lose sight of all the Lord has done for us. We risk becoming not only ungrateful, but selfish.
Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 13: 19-23 (KJV)
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
It doesn't matter whether times are financially good or bad, human nature fights against God. Sometimes it's sneaky and sometimes it doesn't hide at all. We are living in a society that demands — and usually receives — instant results, instant information, instant access, and instant satisfaction. So, when those things are not achieved, we complain and/or do something about it. We sometimes don't even question why we want something, we just believe we want it. And we may not need it. It might not help us. It could actually harm us.
This is especially true of most entertainment these days. While television shows, movies, and online projects may employ excellent actors and be visually gorgeous, what do their stories promote? How much of it recognizes and honors God? And how much fights against God, either discreetly or overtly?
Proverbs 6: 16-19 (KJV) reads:
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
God made all of us. He constructed the universe and everything within it. And He loves us. He wants each of us to be reconciled to Him, as we were separated by the sin of Adam in Genesis. He wants to take care of us and see us reach our full potential. God never promised we would have perfect lives or that we would never experience hardships. He promised He would be there with us, to help us through those difficult times.
The world, in the form of human nature/behavior, cannot provide permanent answers. Most people aren't even asking the right questions. So many are seeking self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction. And yet, without the Holy Spirit, we human beings are incomplete. We cannot find true satisfaction outside of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, as diligently as we may try. We may get close. We may find temporary bliss, but it will always end. And that's because the only things that last come from God.
Proverbs 16:25 (KJV) reads:
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 16: 17-20 (KJV)
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
There will always be distractions, whether they seem to be good or bad ones. But the Lord can help us navigate our way through all that comes our way. Trust in the Lord, lean and depend on Him. Keep Him first in your life, and everything else will get resolved.
Psalms 27: 13-14 (KJV) reads:
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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