It’s amazing how the Scripture leaves no stone unturned when it comes to a life of godliness. The drastic influence that the world can have on us is clearly illustrated through the lives of our spiritual forefathers, starting with Adam and Eve. A good example we have is that of Lot and his family. Setting his eyes on the lush green plains of Jordan, he was willing to part with Abraham, the father of faith. And we know what happened (Gen. 13:13; 19:1-36). Worldliness is one of the most subtle sins. It begins in infinitely small ways, but if left unchecked, it eats up the Christian life and corrodes the inner man like a cancer. As Christians, we need to bear in mind that we have an enemy within our camp – the old man who loves the world and responds to its influence (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10). The world has many attractions. That’s where we find satisfaction for “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 Jn. 2:15-16 NKJV). All that we can be proud of in life comes from the world. From head to toe, from our hair styles to the shoes we wear, the lure of the world can spread like the flu, from one to another. If we let in just a wee bit of worldiness, we will soon be swept off our feet and caught in its enticing trap. Many today are victims to the world’s lure, and the love of the Father is diminished in them.
We are told clearly: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15). Paul exhorts us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). This means that we ought not to look at things the way the world looks at them. Another rendering of this verse says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
Once we let the world in, we will be molded into a different person. This will lead to a corrupting of the spiritual man, the one created in the image of God and recreated by grace through Jesus Christ.
Worldliness is abandoning our devotion to the Lord. It is spiritual adultery and enmity with God (Jas. 4:4). It is vanity (Eccl. 2:3-11). It chokes the Word of God in our hearts and leaves us fruitless (Lk. 8:14). Paul wrote, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Tim. 4:10). The one who gets entangled with the world not only draws away from the Lord but also departs from Christian fellowship.
The Bible does not say that we have to totally renounce the world and live like hermits or monks. God has given us all things richly to be enjoyed and shared with others. The important point is that the ideas, values, goals, trends and attitudes of this world should not become our code of conduct. We are citizens of heaven and we need to set our affections on things above (Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:2).
Our love for the Lord and obedience to His Word should outweigh all other passions. Our dealings with the world should not drag us away from our walk with Him. “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2:17). True godliness is this: “to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (Jas.1:27).
Don’t let the world entice you. You will end up losing all, as Lot and his family did! Fulfill the first command: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Dt. 6:5). Do this and you will end up with rich dividends, right here in this world as well as in eternity! And remember what is available free to help you: “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Ti. 2:11-12).
By Betty Kurian; from Australasian Christian Digest, 2003. Used by permission, edited.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org