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Do you want to know all that is in the world? According to 1 Jn 2:16 all that is in the world are these three things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And these three things are not of the Father, they are of the world.
God has simplified the list of things you need to watch out for. He reduced the list to three things. And these are the three things that are going to get you if you love the world, 1 Jn 2:15.
All that is in the world is:
The lust of the flesh – from a very early age you begin to experience things that feel good to your flesh. And you begin to crave these things. R.B. Ouellette said, “It’s hard (although not impossible) to help your children get victory over a temptation if they’ve already developed an appetite for it.”
In Is 7:14-15, in the prophecy concerning the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, Isaiah wrote, “butter and honey shall he eat that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” These are good for you and nourish your body. Other sweet things like sugar are not good for you and are not nutritious. But once you develop an appetite for them they can be very hard to refuse. We need to develop an appetite for things that are nourishing to our body, not just satisfying to our appetite. Your appetite will get you in trouble. Solomon wrote, “Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite,” Prov 23:2.
Giving in to the lusts of your flesh will ruin your body. That’s why we must keep our bodies in subjection. When young men and women are consumed with lust, for example, they will give into fornication. That sin, so common in the world, uniquely damages your relationship to Jesus in the body of Christ, 1 Cor 6:13-20.
God’s solution to this problem in the world is simple. Gal 5:16, “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” The answer to the lust of the flesh is to walk in the Spirit.
The lust of the eyes – this has to do with what you see. The world is very visual. Images are placed in front of you to appeal to your lust. This is why companies spend so much money on marketing. Marketing is what’s driving social networking. The companies are trying to catch your eye with their ads. You can’t even read the news on the internet without advertisements flickering all over the page.
And if you are lusting in your flesh, all they have to do is show you an image and you’re ready to fall for it. As good a king as David was, he couldn’t refrain himself from Bathsheba, another man’s wife, once he saw her. This is why pornography is such a terrible addiction.
God’s solution to this problem in the world is simple. Matt 6:22 says, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The answer to the world is to keep your eye single. Prov 4:25-27 says, “Let thine eyes look right on… not to the right hand nor to the left.” Keep your eyes on the Lord and in his words.
The pride of life – this has to do with what you imagine, how you see yourself, how you want others to see you, and how you portray yourself. Your pride is demonstrated in your aspirations and ambitions. A friend of mine who put together oil leases to attract investors said, “The worst salesman in this business is the man who believes his own lies.” He will invest in losers.
I became the person that I dreamed of being and I hated myself. Solomon was the same way. He summarized his whole life of accumulating wealth, royalty, palaces, horses, gold, wives, gardens, and so forth like this, “vanity of vanities; all is vanity,” Ecc 1:2. The antichrist will find out this is true. He will gain the whole world and lose his own soul. God abases the proud.
When I became what I wanted to be, I wanted to change. That was half of my life ago. And I found out that God’s solution to this problem in the world is simple. Rom 12:2, “be not conformed to his world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The world will conform you to its image. The Holy Spirit will conform you to the image of Jesus Christ, Rom 8:29. Humble yourself and yield to the Holy Spirit in your life. He will transform you into what God wants you to be. When you have been transformed, you will certainly like the result.
Conclusion: watch out for these three things. Constantly walk in the Spirit, keep your eye single, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind.