Overcoming the World

1 John 2:15-17
15 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. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Loving the world and the things of the world is a battle that we face as believers on a daily basis. This is because though we are not of this world we live and function in this world. The world has its own systems and ideologies and the majority is basing their lives on that.
The Bible tells us that we cannot love God and the world at the same time. You cannot claim to love God and still love the world because the two represent ideologies and principles that cannot co-relate.
How do we overcome the world? We do so by loving God and what He stands for. By embracing biblical principles that sometimes seem outrageous to the world and building our lives on them.
Three things John points out to illustrate the ideologies of this world that we should not pattern our lives after. First, there is the lust of the flesh, talking about a sensual life that lives to gratify the flesh. God’s principle is the opposite demanding that we put to death the flesh. Second is the lust of the eyes talking about selfishness and thinking only about ourselves and what we want. God encourages us to have concern for others around and to think of how to bring out the best in them. Then there is the pride of life. The ideology that puts me way above the rest, thinking that I am better and others don’t deserve the kind of privileges that I have. God, on the other hand, says consider others as better than yourself; lay down your life for your friends.
The question we always need to ask ourselves each time is this; “Which principles am I building my life on? Are they Godly principles or principles of the fallen world?”
Remember you cannot love God and the world at the same time, you and I have to make a choice and I pray that like Joshua we will be able to say;
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”