“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”I John 2:15-17
I’ve always loved a brand new pair of shoes — especially the one I got to pick out myself. When I was a kid, there weren’t as many options to choose from as there are today, but there were some I definitely had my eye on. My birthday came around and I was able to pick out a pair of shoes for my present. I chose a white pair with red and green square logos made out of faux alligator. I thought these were the greatest shoes, and I could not wait to wear them to school.
I showed up to school and stepped out of my car in the most careful way. I picked up my knees high as I walked so I wouldn’t get my shoes dirty. My friends loved my shoes, and I received a lot of compliments on them. My shoes were the talk of the town for a couple of days until someone got a pair that were cooler than mine. Very soon, my brand new white shoes were not so white anymore as I ran and played in them during recess. I tried to clean them but it was hard to remove the blacktop stains from their white soles. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I could not get them as white as they were in the shoe store. My beloved shoes eventually wore out and got holes in them, and I moved on to another pair.
I oftentimes have been attracted to the things of this world and have even developed a one-sided relationship with it. I have ogled, coveted and loved that which was temporal and would soon fade. We are easily tempted by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. We seek things that our flesh lusts after and soon realize it is not what we wanted at all.
We are tempted by the lust of our flesh, just as King David was when he laid his eyes on someone who was not his wife.
We covet after the latest and greatest material things like those white pairs of shoes I desperately wanted and just had to have.
We seek the pride of life as Satan did when he wanted to be like the most High. Isaiah 14:14 records Satan’s rebellion: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” We often get full of ourselves and desire positions of power. We desire the praise and admiration of others and we fall into the same trap as Satan did. We want to be praised and patted on the back, and we get offended when people don’t recognize us for something we did.
All three temptations are seen in Genesis 3:6 which states, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [lust of the flesh], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [lust of the eyes], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [the pride of life], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” If Eve (who only had two choices to make in the Garden) struggled with making the right choice, where do you stack up when you are tempted in the same way? Are your eyes on eternal things or on the things that will soon pass away?
Where are you today friend? Are you in love with the world or are you in love with your Savior? What do you desire more: the things of the world or the things of God? Are you living in God’s will or are you living as you please? The world will soon pass away as my white sneakers did, but the will of God will last forever. Whom will you serve today? Will you obey the voice of the Master? May we recognize the lies of the devil, and may we desire to obey the commandments of God.
Stay in the Fight!