“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” (1 John 2:15-16 ESV).
Yesterday we saw that God doesn’t want us to stay the same. His desire is not only that we bear fruit, but that we bear much fruit. He wants us to voluntarily remove from our lives those things which hinder us from doing so. In keeping with that theme, we will look at 1 John 2:15-16.
We like to throw the word “love” around loosely. “I love ice cream.” “I love <insert your favorite band or singer>.” “I love pizza.” “🎶 I love a rainy night 🎶.” Sometimes those things are harmless and merely reflect our preference. But sometimes we are really relating our what is in our hearts, something which to which we cling, or feel as though we can’t or won’t do without.
We are motivated by these things. Sometimes we organize our entire lives around them. We believe that we need them. The problem, which should be obvious, is that our lives should revolve around the Father. We should be motivated by a desire to please Him, and not only ourselves. I don’t point this out to make anyone feel guilty, though to one extent or the other we are all guilty. We are all at one point or another on our faith journey.
People generally tend to excel when working toward a clear and personally-motivating goal. The challenge we face, then, is choosing our motivation. Do we choose to be driven by our own likes, wants and desires, or do we make the difficult decision to desire the things that God desires?
To further complicate things, the decision to follow after God’s desires cannot be made only once. It would be so amazing if it could, but we find ourselves numerous times a day having to make the decision over and over again. We say “no” to the desire to skip our morning devotional time because we stayed out too late the night before. Then we have to choose to walk away from the water cooler at work when the daily gossip begins. Moments later we are faced with the opportunity to cut corners on a project rather than spend extra time doing it to the glory of God. We are faced with decisions like this all day, every day.
To ignore the decision doesn’t make it go away. We will fail, far more times than we would like, to make the right choice. Yet the choices continue to come. We need to forget failures in past decisions, and stare down the decision that is right in front of us now.
If we love God, we choose Him over the world. And when we fall short, we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and follow Jesus.
Blessings on your day!