This thought begins with verse 15, to love not the world nor the things in the world. Not an easy thing to do when you live in the world. The force of worldly love is strong enough to pull you from ‘of the world’ to ‘in it’. The only thing I know of that holds this in check is the awareness that this is not our final destination. Hebrews 13:14 reminds us that this world is not our permanent home but we are looking forward to a home yet to come. This is our hope, thus, we do not fashion ourselves after worldly elements.
The word ‘love’ in our verse is the greek word agape which means a self sacrificing, lay your life down for another, kind of love. The only place this agape comes from is theFather, given to us by the Holy Spirit. This love ensures us that we have passed from death, the dominion of sin, and have been translated into His Kingdom where we are to experience and enjoy life. We love Him because He first loves us.
How is it then that we can take the love He gives us and pour it out on things that do not profit? How can we spend and be spent on something that has eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear and have absolutely no power to save, heal or deliver?
When we invest ourselves into the culture and the thinking of this world we are transformed into images the world can relate to, understand and approve. Yet the Bible tells us clearly we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are to be “re-newed” in the spirit of our mind.
Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 11:3 that he was concerned the church would be deceived by the same cunning strategy Satan used on Eve which would then lead them astray from the sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Jesus prayed from John 17 that while we were in the world we were kept from the evil one.
There is no denying the pull that is in the world through these three things, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, yet all these are heart issues that can be kept under through the attachment we maintain living and abiding in HIM.
Deception occurs when we continue to look at something long enough to change our mind about it. Im hearing the Holy Spirit saying ~ Stop looking at the tree. I understand this to simply mean, the things that would lead us away from our devotion to Christ must not be considered. It was as Eve considered the tree, that she was able to agree. The tree was good for food, pleasing to the eye and it could make you wise and she took the bait that hide the hook. God didn’t say the tree wasn’t desirable, he simply said don’t eat from it.
God doesn’t deny the reality of what the world seems to offer, He just says it’s not our fountain of life. It is not our well of salvation.
I’m assured that Jesus is coming again for His church, and that church is without spot, wrinkle and blemish. Let us not be deceived into thinking His church is less than what His blood has purchased. Pure, holy set apart for the Masters use. In the world, not of it. In the world, not defined by it. In the world, not adapting to it.