And so the Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” What is worldliness? And why should a Christian not love this world?
Three reasons: Number one, because of the character of the world—what it is. Number two, because of the corruption of the world—what it does. Number three, because of the condemnation of the world—where it’s headed.
Anybody can have a spiritual faith in somebody or something—even in the Creator God—and still not have saving faith, the faith to which Paul refers here. Many believe in a Creator God yet do not know Him, do not understand His purpose, do not understand the extent of Satan's influence on them or the world, and do not obey God's commands. They are, in short, uncalled by the sovereign God and not as yet appointed to eternal life.
Not everything in life does the way we would like it. Sometimes we make out okay, other times things just don't seem to work out. In both cases, the Lord is with us, and He wants to help us make the best of things. God has given good things to His children, and when one thing doesn't work out, we can rest assured that something else is soon to come along. When things do work out, we need to remember to give thanks to the one who made it all possible.
Earthly perspective. Too often we live focused on our circumstances. Our minds think about what happened earlier in the week, what’s on today’s agenda, and the activities occurring next week, month, or year. No wonder enjoyment of life remains elusive. The solution is to have an eternal perspective, which acknowledges that God is in charge and our goal is to please Him.
Self-imposed pressure. We have all experienced the unavoidable burdens of schoolwork, employment, and relationships. But we bring needless pressure on ourselves when we allow unnecessary “musts” and “shoulds” to rule us. The remedy is to turn to God, acknowledge His right to order our days, and ask for His plan.
Unhealthy attitudes. Perfectionism, false guilt, and apathy all undermine our enjoyment of life.
I know so many Christians who’ve become so accustomed to living their lives in bondage to their past that they continue to live in it even after they’ve been liberated in Christ. They find comfort in the same habits and hang-ups they did before and never really try to break the cycle of pain and destruction.
But the Bible tells you and me that once we’re in Christ, we don’t have to go back to the way things were. Yes, we may still have the same sin struggles, but we no longer have to submit to them because we’ve been set free from the old way of doing things. What wonderful news!
Satisfaction is found in a life that reflects God’s priorities—and time with Him comes first. Therefore, people often base their self-concept on their accomplishments. But our relationship with Christ is far more important than our jobs, successes, wealth, or knowledge. We have been chosen by God as his very own, and we have been called to represent him to others. Remember that your value comes from being one of God's children, not from what you can achieve. You have worth because of what God does, not because of what you do.
Maybe today, you’re still under the bondage of some of the past. Maybe there’s even some behavior in your life that has a grip on you and you don’t see a way out. But there is a way. By the power of Christ, you can be set free from every sin pattern in your life. Submit to Him today and release yourself from the past. Live free.
Lift your head up; stop focusing on the stress factors in your life and get your mind on the things of God. God gives you many little signs of His presence with you, many little messages. Instead of ignoring them, focus on them. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to what you’re missing. Respond to the incredible God who is speaking to you. Realize that you are involved in something so much bigger than you. Get excited about it.
God wants you to know Him!