“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 ESV).
I’d like to have a new truck. I’d like a better camera and better lenses. I’d like the most current tech devices…all the time. I’d like to eat the most amazing foods in the most exotic locations. And I’d like to be a successful writer (…I mean more successful, of course!). None of these things are bad on their own. All of them have value. So, is it wrong to want them? Aren’t they classified as “the things of this world?” What does it mean to love the world?
It is obvious to all concerned that this world is not as it was created. The Fall brought changes, not just to humankind, but also to the way that the earth behaved. In Eden there were no earthquakes or hurricanes, no tornadoes or tsunamis, no droughts or famines. God, Himself, testified that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Adam and Eve had no need to toil, everything they could ever want was provided for them in the garden.
When sin came on the scene, the perfect image was shattered. The world, as we know it, came into being. And for the first time, dissatisfaction grew. People wanted what they shouldn’t have. There was no longer a free ride; and we have since been faced with a choice: follow God or live for yourself and your desires (which is what the world wants you to do!).
The world wants you to go after whatever you desire. “Indulge yourself,” it says.
There is nothing wrong with liking and wanting nice things. The problem comes when those likes and wants pull us away from godly contentment. The things I mentioned earlier are just that, things. I’d love to have any of them or all of them, but I am perfectly content with what I have. If the opportunity presents itself for me to have any of them, and it doesn’t mean falling back on my commitments or focusing inordinate attention on the thing, there is nothing wrong with possessing it—so long as it doesn’t possess me.
All things will disappear in time, but our relationship with Christ will last forever. First John 2:15-17 is a warning to us to keep our desires and priorities straight. It also serves as a promise, “whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Desire is good if it’s object worthy. May your desire for Him, and your contentment in Him, grow more every day!
Blessing on your day!