Lusts of the World

For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.
And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
1 John 2:16-17 HCSB

How desperately our arms want to reach out and grab ahold of all that is passing away! The things of this world call out to us with their false promises, tempting us to believe only in the things we can see. As we look at the material world around us, we are drawn to its enticing beauty, and we long to embrace the power and prestige that will elevate us to a higher level. As we set our eyes upon what other people have, our hearts begin to yearn for those things above all else. In the midst of such deception, our tunnel vision prevents us from seeing that all of it is merely a facade, a mirage that is here for a moment and then gone.

If we base our lives on such things, we unwisely build for ourselves an empire with no solid foundation. Just like people running excitedly toward a beautiful oasis in the middle of a desert, we arrive anxiously, only to find that there is nothing there at all. Everything we had placed our hope in vanishes quickly before our eyes. So it will be at the end of our lives if we look for those things to save us and find in utter shock that none of it mattered, not even in the least. All that was real and eternal had been traded in cheaply for the values of the world, for things that do not last.

The draw of this temptation, although so foolish, can be very convincing to our selfish, prideful hearts. Left to our own instincts, we are quick to trade in God’s will for our own. Only through a mind controlled by His Spirit can we conquer the giants of the world that try to gain victory over us. Let us pray earnestly to God as the psalmist did: Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways (Psalm 119:36-37 ESV).

Let us see the things of this world through the value system of God’s eyes and appraise them as He would. Then let us assess the value of a life lived in complete submission to His will and be amazed at its immense greatness!

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What lusts compete with your love for God?

by Jill Holler

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 Jill Holler grew up on a farm in western Illinois, enjoying a life of running free through the pastures during the day and gazing at the countless shimmering stars at night. All around her, she could see the work of God’s creative hand, and she knew He was real. Yet it wasn’t until years later that she would discover the abundant life of faith that comes from taking hold of the living power that resides in God and His word. After struggling to find purpose and meaning for much of her young adult life, she found that it resides simply–yet powerfully–in Jesus Christ, her God and Savior.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.