The War on Worldliness
In our message Fallout: In Love with the World, we saw how God warned us about worldliness through the example of Demas:
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica (2 Tim 4:10)
Because of that love for the world, he abandoned Paul and walked away from ministry and perhaps the gospel itself.
Worldliness is really a state of the heart. It means loving the world and all of the stuff above God. There are 2 types of worldliness the Bible describes. The first worldliness is what Jesus describes as loving the decent and routine things of daily life above God (Lk 8:14):
And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
Worldliness can also mean loving the sinful and crooked things of this world, involving the wrong way of thinking and sinful manner of living. This type of worldliness is described by John:
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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
Are there mundane, routine, or trivial things in life that are turning your heart to love the world more than loving your Savior? Or have you fallen into loving the sinful, and ungodly aspects of this culture?
Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any ways that this is taking place in your life (Ps 139:23-24) and confess these things to the Lord.
The Bible calls us to renew our love for the Lord and to ensure that our love for Him does not grow cold while our love for the world grows hot (Rev 2:4-5). One such practical way was mentioned on Sunday. We need to mute the world and turn God’s voice up louder.
What ways can you make the world’s voice quieter and God’s voice louder today?
The following suggestions may help. Consider memorizing some Scripture verses as a couple or as a family. Pick a few of your favorite worship songs and sing them back to the Lord. Consider putting in place a “screen fast”, and turn off the TV, shut down the tablet or phone and spend that time singing, praying, or reading the Bible.
The world is relentless. It keeps coming at us all the time. And we can easily start to love and cherish good and decent aspects of life above the Lord. And the sinful aspects of the world can also tempt us to love evil as well. But never forget that we have the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. He can renew our minds and lessen the influence of the world. He has the power to set our hearts ablaze again in love for the Lord and to remove the idol of the world. Seek His help today so that your love for the Lord overwhelms your love for this world.
A Prayer for Battling Worldliness
Father, you have saved me and called me to a future home—a heavenly home. I am sorry that I have lived like this is my eternal residence. Help me to know how to live in this world and to enjoy the good things, but never to have it replace you. Capture my heart, draw my eyes up to you and increase my love for you. In Jesus name, Amen.