The World That is Passing Away

“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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

People lose their love for God in a variety of ways. They can get distracted, succumb to temptation, grow weary, or just decide to walk away from God. By far the greatest reason people fall away is the love of this world.

In the passage above, the Apostle John describes what we can expect to find in this world. He mentions first the desires of the flesh. He does not refer to food or clothing or other basic necessities of life. He refers to the cravings emerging from our sinful natures. When we fall captive to carnal desires, we lose our love for God.

He next mentions the desires of the eyes. These represent those things dangled before our eyes that temp us. We see something that God never designed for us, and we begin to covet it. Once we give in to this temptation, we begin to grow distant to God.

Finally John speaks about the pride of life, or pride in status or possessions. But possessions can slip away as can our worldly status. When that occurs, we strive to hold on to those things that fed our pride. When this happens, we quickly lose our first love.

Notice where this world is headed: It’s passing away. Peter would write something similar:

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:11-13).

Steps to Renewal:

  1. Sense the need for heartfelt repentance.
    Paul provided the first step by warning the Roman readers not to be seduced by the world’s allurements:

    “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:11-14).

  2. Ask God to soften your heart to Him. We cannot come back to God in our own strength. We need to pray to God that He would draw our wavering heart back to Him so we can once again serve Him.
  3. Ask God to deaden your heart to the world.
    People would not fall away from their first love if they didn’t bite at forbidden bait. Satan succeeds because people fall for his temptations. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. Pray that God would convict us of our need and provide the grace to turn back to Him.

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