Ever watch the game show Jeopardy on television?
If you answer incorrectly you can “jeopardize” all that you have.
Life can mimic that sometimes.
Check out something that John says in his first epistle.
1 John 2:15-16 – “Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]–these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].
Note the buzz words here: craving, lust, gratification, greed, longing…
This is jeopardy for the believer.
John is specific. This is not to say that there are things of the world we cannot have. On the contrary. There is nothing wrong with having a nice home, car, good paying job, nice clothes, etc.
There is a difference between liking or even needing something, and loving it and lusting and craving after it.
The believer never has to succumb to any of that. God knows what we need and desire and willfully and graciously provides (Matt. 6).
In fact, all of the things described are “Things That Are Out Of Place” for the believer.
These are the things that will run the believer off the rails and wreck their faith.
Lust of the flesh is coveting. We know God hasn’t liked that one since the beginning. It’s Number 10 on the Big Ten Sin Parade.
Pride of life? That one sunk Lucifer’s (Satan) high hopes. He and 1/3 of the angels of heaven. It precedes a fall. The serpent talked Adam and Eve into that one as well.
I could sit here and rattle off probably fifty different varieties of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
All of them would be out of place in the life of the disciple of Jesus Christ.
John didn’t issue this warning for us to have to keep a checklist of what to do or what not to do. He was making a comparison so we could make a informed assessment of our lives.
If we find ourselves living closer to the world than God wants for us, we should recognize that fact and make the proper adjustment.
The adjustment is not to purposely decide in our own strength and power to make changes. That doesn’t work. It didn’t work before we knew Jesus and it will not work now.
Thats’ a hard concept for some folks to wrap their brain around.
It’s never what WE can do.
It’s always what the power of the Holy Spirit can do in us. When we allow Him to.
It’s about yielding to Him, not fixing it ourselves.
Closeness to the world means further from God. Grow closer to God, and the world and its lustful cravings shrink.
Think of Abraham and Lot. When they split up and went their separate ways, Lot chose to pitch his tent in Sodom. Abraham chose the fertile lands of the Jordan area. We see the tragic results of craving what the world offers in the choices Lot made.
When you pitch your tent too close to lustful sinfulness God will be offended.
When things are out of place that means things are in disorder and disarray.
A life in disarray is not a sign of a life consecrated to Christ.
It might come as a rude awakening today…but…
…Keepin’ it Real.