Too Much Of The World
Jesus prayed that while His disciples were in the world, they would not be of the world. I have heard it said on occasion, “He has too much of the world in him.” I think that simply means that persons attitude and behavior is more like the world than like Christ. It is indeed a challenge to live in the world without it living in us. The fact is, we are all affected by our environment.
We have too much of the world when we let the world determine our values. Do honesty and integrity really matter? Does a vow really mean anything? Does a covenant really have any bearing today? Is lying the norm? Is stealing simply relative? Do words have meaning? Can we play fast and loose with the meaning of words? Does taking the Lord’s name in vain really shock us anymore? What we say and do reflect our heart. Our heart reflects where our treasure is. What we treasure, we value. We must value God and honor character and self-respect more than the downward spiral of their value in our world today.
We have too much of the world when we let the world determine our morality. For example, is marriage between one man and one woman? Is it okay to have multiple wives and husbands without God’s approval? Is homosexuality acceptable? Is gender identity right? Is sex outside of marriage, i.e., fornication, okay? Is social drinking really no big deal? All of those are acceptable in the world today. They cannot be part of the life of a disciple of Christ. A disciple of Christ is to be unspotted from the world. A disciple is to be pure. At least we should strive to be unspotted and pure.
We have too much of the world when we let the world define success. Our world defines success by how much we have, what we wear, if we are smart, educated, athletic and able to capture someone’s attention. If I am ugly, dumb, clumsy, and dull, then I am nobody. Nobody wants to be disliked. But the desire to be popular and successful overrides true success. John defined success when he said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 2-4, NKJV). That is quite a bit different than how the world defines success. There is no success apart from our walk with God. If we have all the world’s good, fame, and accolades, but do not walk with God, we fail. All who walk with God and have His approval succeed.
How can we overcome? It is an oversimplification, but we overcome the world living in us when we are filled with the fullness of God--that is, transformed to be like Him. We overcome when our love for Him is greater than anything this world offers. We overcome when our every heartbeat is about pleasing Him in all things. Yes, there are more details to be considered. When we walk with the Lord with a sense of justice, mercy, and faith, everything else takes care of itself (Matt 23:23). Micah said, “… And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6).