“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.”1 John 2:15
Love not the world nor the things that is in the world, yet that is exactly what we do. If we love the world, then the love of the Father is not in us. Some are taken aback by this reading in the word of God, and mostly we just ignore it and its meaning. Some would say if God created the world why should we not love it. We should not love it, for Satan as the prince of the air, is using it for his own purpose. The fall of Adam has corrupted man’s mind to turn away from God. There is a certain amount of chaos in the world and people are fighting against themselves to defeat certain circumstances. However, the first thing I thought about was vanities. The pursuit of happiness such as in purchasing items is short lived. Being vain in who you are is having excessive pride in yourself and your appearance. Just thing about the obsession in plastic surgery that many people partake in just to make themselves look good. Today, it has become an addiction that has been named “Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” This is no joke, for surgeons are now to screen patients for this disorder before operating. We have gone so far as to label what is acceptable in looks and appearances. Is there any wisdom in changing one’s appearances? Was it necessary? Maybe we should take another look at the definition of the word vanity. I found this definition on the internet from learn2pronounce.com.
Want of substance to satisfy desire. What desire are you trying to satisfy today? That is a question we must ask ourselves daily. What was the apostle John trying to convey in chapter two of the First Epistle of John. Let’s look at verse 16, where John states that “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 this world.”
The lust of the flesh consists of envy, jealousy, hatred, drunkenness, idolatry, sorcery, heresies, strife, and fornications to name a few [see Galatians 5:19-21]. The lust of the eyes is what you see with your own eyes such as the appearances of your body and material possessions. The pride of life is being boastful about who you are and your accomplishments. Anything that consumes you is in reality taking you away from God and is moving you out of the love of God. Any kind of vanity is in itself emptiness, for it is short term and not lasting. Only God’s love is eternal and long lasting. That is why the apostle John states in the following verse:
And the world passeth away, and the lust of it; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”1 John 2:17
The will of God is for Christians to be led by the Holy Spirit and to walk in the Spirit. Our sanctification is through the Holy Spirit and not in the flesh or the works of the flesh. As Christians we struggle against two natures, the Adamic nature, and the divine nature. The struggle continues when it comes to not living in the flesh and trying to live in the Spirit. The flesh lusted against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to each other [see Galatians 5:17]. We just cannot achieve the goal of living in the Spirit of God. The point is, if we try in our own strength, it is impossible. It must be done only in faith through Christ Jesus. It must become the work of God and not us. This is where we allow God to work in us through what Christ has done on the cross. Without God in our life, there will be an emptiness, or a voidness as if something is missing. Your soul is sitting in darkness and there is no light. We need God’s light of love to be in our heart in order to see more clearly our state and the state of other human beings. It is the crisis we see in our world that is spiraling down to nothingness. The Chinese missionary Watchman Nee wrote about the same subject and you can download his book titled “Love not the World.”
Watchman Nee defines the world as this age and rightly so for it speaks to a world system in the age we are living in at this very moment. How Satan, who is the prince of air, uses this world to organize his rule among mankind in the principles of force, greed, selfishness, and ambitions. Control over man’s desires to force certain conditions upon humanity as a political rule or agendas. Even good missionary work that was spiritual can soon be driven into the world’s focus rather than God’s focus by becoming part of the world’s system. I have personally witnessed this change in Christian organizations. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, spoke about the change in her own ministry when it was changed into an institution/organization. She dropped the organization and went back to doing what God called her to do and that was to care for the sick and poor. As a child of God, we should consider carefully what we are partnering ourselves with when it comes to organizations.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is VANITY.”Ecclesiastes 12:8
Let us read on to the next verse in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, verse 9, where Soloman states, “and moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out and set in order many proverbs.” Preacher, teach us the words of the Lord and how we should live. Read on and you will be surprised to read about the making of many books and how it can become the weariness of the flesh in studying. What was the conclusion? It was to fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man [see Ecclesiastes 12:12-13]. The vanity of worldly things counts as nothing in life, but the commandments of God and believing in faith in the son of God brings the fulfillment of life. It is by grace that we are saved through faith, and not by any individual’s personal work. Faith in Christ Jesus alone, for this is the gift of God [see Ephesians 2:8-9].
The world passeth away, and the lust of it; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”1 John 2:17
Consider your position in your own life, and examine if it is profitable, or just a vain pursuit. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, instead follow Christ and have the love of God within your heart, for this is everlasting and it is profitable.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36