1 John 2:15-17 (NRSV)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
By Chuck Griffin
The problem with the world is that it is so present, so right in front of us. Otherwise, the recommendation given to us in today’s text would be easy to follow.
Those objects and people we want to possess, along with those growing (we hope!) numbers in our investment accounts win most of our attention. Matters related to God are lucky to be relegated to a sleepy late evening or weekend. It’s a common pattern, one as much of a problem in the early days of the church as it is today.
If only we could see God in a sustained way. The world would dissolve like mist, and we would quickly forget its passing fancies.
That actually will happen, by the way. As Christians, we believe this world is temporary. And certainly, our lives in it are “like the morning fog,” to borrow from the fourth chapter of James.
So, how do we manage the immediacy of the world and the very detrimental effect it can have on us?
Remember that God is present in it, accessible to us any time we are in need. We live in the era where we engage with God as the Holy Spirit, who works within us and among us in the church to sustain us and empower us until we see our risen savior in full.
I’ve mentioned the means of grace before and I’ll mention them again. Pray, and God will meet you there. Delve into God’s Holy Scripture, and the Holy Spirit will speak to you in clear and undeniable ways. Live in true fellowship with other Christians, and despite their imperfections you’ll get at least an occasional glimpse of eternal life.
In all of this you will better understand God’s will for your life, and you will pursue doing his will. If you’re truly blessed, by the time you leave this world behind, you won’t be looking back.
Lord, help us to cut through the confusion of this world and see you standing nearby. Amen.