“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15 (NASB)
Ya know, as much as I fall back on the Book of James or Hebrews for realignment in my Christian walk, I seem to side step 1 John in those times where I find myself in a valley. I believe it is because of my headline verse for today. When I measure myself with what we read in 1 John 2:15, falling short seems to be an understatement. Why is that? Well because I own stuff. Stuff I kinda like and tell myself I kinda need. Like my 14 foot Boston Whaler w/35 hp Johnson outboard motor. “It’s just not a beautiful day out on the water without it,” I tell myself. Truth is, it’s gonna be a beautiful day out on the water without it or without me for that matter. What a wretched man I can be…C’est la vie.
Now, the last time I was with you I began a dialogue about being in a “Static Condition.”A place where nothing seems to go ‘wrong,’ but things aren’t necessarily ‘right’ either. A.W. Tozer says that there are two things that “are necessary for a Christian who wants to go on and break the static condition of his life and become a growing, moving, progressive, dynamic Christian.” And this week I’m gonna tell you that the first one is to completely forsake the world. Yeah, this is gonna be a tough one for us to achieve. Why? To quote Tozer from his book, “The Crucified Life”:
“There has never been a sport invented so violent and vicious that you will not find Christians sitting around watching it with a New Testament in their hip pocket. I do not think there is any worldly pleasure where that you will not find a Christian partaking of it.”
Once you read that, all that can be said is “OUCH.” Better sell your season tickets to those football games (as fan this one cuts close to the chest) and cancel that trip to Disney (well quite frankly, I think Disney should be eradicated, but please don’t tell Dr. Welte I said that). But really, what does this mean for us folk who wear the badge of “Christian” and yet have stuff that occupies our time, or go to places that really aren’t based in Kingdom principles?
I really think it means taking a deep look at the heart and seeing if what we occupy ourselves with has become an “idol.” You see, we can’t put on a space suit, get into a rocket, and live on Mars to get away from what is out in the world, but we don’t have to love what it loves. Idolatry says we have other gods that need our attention, and if we do get too close to making those things divine, we are in serious trouble…like Nebuchadnezzar did.
However, we do have Biblical examples of men who were in the world but didn’t let it harbor in their hearts. Noah got on the boat, Abram left that country and Lot didn’t debate with the two angels on what “escape for your life and don’t look behind you” meant. Now granted, these men did have their failing points, but if we look into the New Testament we find a guy named Saul who would later pen this example, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Phil 3:8).
One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we tell ourselves that we are separated from the world in our spirit. That we really do things with a sense of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit attached to them. That is a lie straight from the pit of Hell and it leaves us deceived, but what are we to do to maintain the pursuit of holiness and keep the world at bay?
Well, I guess I’ll have to share that with you the next time I join you, but until then ponder where you are your position is today. Are you finding things at the horizontal – occupying more space than they deserve? Or are you looking up at the vertical and feeling a sense of uplifting? If things seem too much on the horizontal, might I suggest that you petition the One that provides grace and shows mercy to give you guidance it all things worthy of praise. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “The world we are to forsake is the one that organizes and fills itself with unbelief. The world that passes to amuse itself and build itself upon doubts, unbelief and self-righteousness. Jesus was in the world but not of the world.” – A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Oh, satisfy early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” Psalm 90:14