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The man of God at the same time both loves God and hates the things of the world. Using softer terms simply doesn't work. We cannot just get along with the world.Nor can we just be simple friends with God. The reason for this is clear. God wants the whole heart of the man and is dissatisfied with anything less. The world also wants the whole heart of man and will stop at nothing until it obtains what it desires. For this numerous warnings carefully placed throughout scriptures.
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You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4).
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15).
So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16).
Those things that wage war against our souls are not so much the temptations but that which makes these devious ideas so tempting! Whenever we are lacking in fervency toward the LORD, we leave room for romping with the world. The desire for more power, sounds, sights, and excitement of life, all point to the lack of contentment with God.
When a person is full, then he is no longer hungry. If a person loves God, then he doesn't care for the world
We rarely dare look at all the charges of adultery against God's people. Most of them refer to spiritual adultery. This is where we have committed our souls to the Lord but then with our hearts get drawn after others such as the world.
Just as those who scan through pornographic pictures often have difficulty seeing anything wrong with it, those who have their flesh tickled by things of the world cannot see what is wrong with it. One reason for this is the delusion deep down in the Christian's understanding which confuses the flesh with what God has made. The flesh, however, refers to the very unnatural sinful desires which has no part in nature! It is the heart source from which evil comes.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. (Mark 7:21,22).
We must understand that the flesh can absolutely do no good. Yes, it can fake goodness, but the flesh does not do good. It delights in evil which is the opposite of good. Evil treats God's good things abusively. Sensuality treats people into sex machines. Pride eagerly destroys other people. Greed finds discontent with what one has. The world breeds off this flesh. Have you given the world part of your heart?
The only solution is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Logically speaking, the cure for adultery would be to simply fix ones heart and eyes on his own. The question is, "How does a person get to be pure of heart?" How does he go from being friends with the world to hating the world and passionately loving God? We have answered this in part in The Great Race which deals with overcoming lusts. But below, let us focus on what it is to passionately love God rather than just the things God gives.
For a man to be godly, he must rise above the cheap cynicism of the day. Most people just don't love God. They only tolerate Him when He goes along with their plans. The godly man, though, has broken through this common suspicion that God can fulfill our hearts. He has done this by locking himself up with God.
There are so many gimmicks to get God's people to love God more. They try programs, service opportunities, reward systems, candies, etc. They hope by these things to the people so close to God, that they will drop other things. God, however, will not be so easily discovered or found.
A man who wants to know God must be willing to part with everything for the sake of knowing God. There must be the willingness to absolutely find his chief joy to be the Lord. The good things, the best things, act like a door to God. In a sense they lead to God because God is good. But in another sense, they are a barrier to drawing nearer to Him. God is asking you and me to put the good things down. One cannot take them through the door. The godly man not only has thrown these good things down but thrown open the door, thrust Himself in God's presence and shut the door behind him.
Where before he thought he would lose all, he finds that in the room with God are all sorts of good things that God shares with him. As everything is closer to the true light, everything is has more glitter, glisten and gleam. The good things have now become truly good things. God's good things are best enjoyed when they do not satisfy but only delight. God only satisfies; the other things just make this relationship more glorious.
God's good things are best enjoyed
when they do not satisfy but only delight.
Paul the apostle hinted at this when he spoke to Timothy on this topic. In 1 Timothy 6:6 he says,
But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.
Man will never be content with only receiving the good things that come from God. They cannot truly satisfy without God. The godly man is content with knowing God. He knows God will constantly shower him with remembrances of their relationship, but none of these things would ever substitute the honor and privilege of knowing God.
Many have fallen into disgrace around us. We usually think of the sexual adultery or the money stolen as the greatest sin. These sins, however, betray not only the areas of their discontent, but they also reveal how little they value the presence of God. When a man stops loving God, the world begins to powerfully attract him. This is the reason the Word says not to lay hands on a man too quickly. Let him first be proven. Church discipline often overlooks the main problem facing them.
The man of God doesn't need things to know God's goodness, but God gives them to His people to make their joy more abundant. If material things are what convinces us of God's goodness, then it is no longer faith. The godly man has been trained to know and be satisfied with God's presence. The world becomes no comparison to the Lord's glory. => Next
Next =>Discontent Breeds Temptation
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988