A Series by Jill Holler – Part 6
If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Colossians 2:20 HCSB
The message of this verse brings anguish to my heart. It cuts through every ounce of greed, lust, and pride inside of me, laying bare the thoughts and attitudes of my heart (Hebrews 4:12).
Like a double-edged sword to my heart and soul, this verse opens up all of the hidden, deceptive thoughts inside of me and reveals them plainly before my eyes. Yes, the word of God has an astounding way of cutting through everything false in me to reveal the corruption of my own heart.
Desperately I want to shut my eyes to this truth, but the power of God’s word penetrates my soul. With shocking clarity, it shows me that indeed the elemental forces of this world have enslaved me to the false idols of this world. They have drawn me in and taken me captive with false promises and self-centered appeals.
Yes, the world has tempted me to cling tightly to my own selfish desires--to live for my own will, not the Lord’s. It has called me to strive for success and glory, not to bow humbly before God. Click To Tweet And it has persuaded me to believe that being lifted high by others is my greatest reward, when in my soul I know there is only One who deserves to be lifted high.
A Stark Contrast
Indeed, the world has no regard for Jesus Christ, a life of servanthood, or the will of God. It only has regard for itself, its earthbound agenda, and a self-centered approach to living. What a stark contrast to the eternal purposes of Jesus Christ!
1 John 2:16 confirms the origin of a self-centered life: For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
Everything that is lifted high by the world and desired by our sinful hearts comes from the world. And it is an offense to the grace of God. It has no absolutely no regard for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
In fact, the sins that Jesus Christ died to save us from are the very things that the world reveres! It is no surprise, therefore, that James 4:4 states this truth: Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Two Conflicting Forces
God’s word reveals this truth clearly: we cannot cling to the values of this world while clinging to the cross of Jesus Christ. It is simply not possible for the two things to reside together in harmony.
This is why conflict and torment arise in our hearts when we attempt to mesh the two things together. It is why we move farther away from Christ as we draw closer to the world. When we feel like we are riding a roller coaster ride of emotions, it is because we are trying to bridge two completely opposite worlds.
It is for this reason that God tells us not [to] love the world or anything in the world (1 John 2:15). If we do, we will not be able to live fully for Christ.
When we attempt to bring two magnetic, opposite forces together, they will inevitably repel each other.
By God’s own design, we cannot follow both Jesus Christ and the world. We must choose one or the other.
Lifting the Cross of Jesus
And as we face the deceptive temptations of this world, we can remember that God will never lead us toward the very things He died to save us from! We may find a thousand justifications to head in the direction of our own sin and selfish desires, but we can be certain they do not come from God.
No, He will never lead us toward sin!
So when we find ourselves longing for our own acclaim, we must turn back to Jesus!
When we find ourselves overcome with greed or lust in our hearts, we must instead run to Him!
When we feel tempted to abandon [our] first love (Revelation 2:4) for something much less, we must open up the pages of Scripture to remember how precious our Savior Jesus Christ is to us!
The Greatest Challenge to Our Faith
Yes, the greatest challenge of our faith may be this: to die to every earthly desire and instead choose to live for Christ.
But it is possible through the grace, wisdom, and power of God!
If we cling to the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we will not be deceived by the empty promises of this world. We will not trade in everything eternal for all that will fade away.
Instead, we will trust our solid rock of faith: Jesus Christ. His unchanging love will never fail us, and His strength becomes our own.
Yes, we can do all things through Him who strengthens [us] (Philippians 4:13)!
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 5:5
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 1 John 2:15
Enjoy other posts in this series
What to Lose:
My Worldly Perspective