L. A. Marzulli
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. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2: 16
We are strangers in a strange land. As beautiful as this planet is, it’s not our home. However, while we are here and in these bodies, which are in a fallen state—don’t believe me…. watch the 6 o’clock news—we are pulled in a lot of directions. This is why Paul admonishes us to take every thought captive.
Falling in line with this exhortation from Paul, John exhorts us to watch and be on our guard, for three things, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. I want to touch on all three of these aspects of what we deal with as human beings.
the lust of the flesh: First off the flesh always wants to lift itself up. It always wants to be “me” first. A great example of this is watching a three-year old, it’s all about them! However, some people never grow out of that phase and spend the rest of their lives wanting more and more and more. They are never satisfied. As my first pastor told me once; how much is enough…. just a little more. The flesh can never be appeased and is at war with us. As Paul states: In my flesh is no good thing. He knows of what he speaks, as the works of the flesh are contrary to the works of the Spirit of the Living God.
lust of the eyes: This works in tandem with the lust of the flesh. What we see we want. We covet, we desire, we look with envy or lust, we become jealous and on and on it goes. This is why when these thoughts happen, and if we are honest they do, we put them at the feet of the cross. We die to them daily, as they go nowhere and will eventually burden us down. How many of us rejoice when someone we know get’s a new house or car or promotion? See what I mean? I’ve seen people’s eyes—which are the window to their souls—flash with envy while their mouths congratulated me. This is who we are.
the boastful pride of life: I made this! This is mine! I am a success! I accomplished this! LOOK AT ME! It’s easy for us to get puffed up with the pride of life and believe we are responsible for our success. Yes, we work hard and apply our minds and bodies to whatever it is we are working on, but true success comes from our Father. It is He who blesses. It is He who allows us to prosper. It’s very dangerous for anyone to look around at what he or she has and believe they are responsible for it. This is why the 24 elders cast their crowns at the One seated on the throne in the Book of Revelation. They know who it is who created them and allowed them to prosper in the way!
In closing todays bun. All of us struggle with the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, but the good news is this. If we are born from above the Spirit of the living God, His Spirit will: teach us in all things! He will comfort us and instruct us. He will reprove us when necessary and will lead us into His presence with singing. We learn, as we walk out our salvation with fear and trembling, to overcome the flesh and walk in the Spirit.