Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world--wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important--has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. the world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out--but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2:15-17 MSG
When I first read these verses this morning, I didn't think about them a lot. I've been told that I should act as if I am in the world, not of it. So these seemed unimportant... But then I took a second look at the passage. And realized several things.
I've said before that I'm starting to enjoy the Message version of the Bible more, simply because it is different, explained in simpler terms. I've read these verses before, and never thought of them in this light.
Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. There is not room for 2 masters in your heart. It's either the world or God. It's either you or God. You can't have both. Jesus said so in Matthew 6:24. "You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other..." But I never really thought of this. If I love things in this world, such as money, food, cell phones (technology) etc., there is not room for God. I want there to be room for Him. I want God to have full control of my heart, to be the only One I love. And I want the love I have for Him to pour out on others that He's blessed me with in my life. My husband. My daughter. My brothers and sisters. My parents. My friends.
Practically everything that goes on in this world has nothing to do with the Father. Self-explanatory. There's a lot that goes on in the world. And some of it is God, and some of it isn't. There are miracles and there are tragedies. And you can't blame all the bad things on God. "If God exists, why does He let bad things happen?"
The world and all its wanting isolates you from God, but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. I want to be set for eternity. I want to be doing God's work, whatever that might be. In whatever capacity.
As I was watching a TV show this last week, I heard something that struck me as good advice. It made me think. In the show, the character questions how a stale cracker could be the body of Christ, and voices her doubts to her grandmother. And her grandmother, instead of saying "Just believe it." or shrugging off those doubts, says, "Faith is the banishment of doubt."
I want to have the faith that banishes doubt. I want to have love that crowds out the things of the world. I want love that pours out on others. I want to have God's love in my heart, controlling the way I think, the way I act, the way I am.