Monday, 14 May 2012

Do not be conformed to this world but let God transform you

Do not be conformed to this world but let God transform you.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 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. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”       1 John 2:15-16.

The text begins with a command—"Do not love the world or the things in the world." Everything else in the text is an argument, or incentive, for why we should not love the world. The commandment is, "Don't love the world or the things in the world." The first incentive is that if you love the world, you don't love God. The second incentive is that if you love the world, you will perish with the world. And the third incentive is that if you love God instead of the world, you will live with God forever.

What does the Bible mean by the term "world?

What does John mean by telling us to not love the world? "Aren't we supposed to love the world? And doesn't the Bible say that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ...'? Aren't we supposed to go out and tell the entire world about Jesus' love? Is the Bible being contradictory in telling us not to love the world?"

An accurate understanding of John's intention in this command depends on how we interpret the words: "world". When John speaks here of the world, he isn't the word in the same way as he did when he wrote those well-known words, "For God so loved the world .The Bible makes reference to "the world" in a variety of different contexts. Many of different uses for "world", in fact, are found in John's letter. One way he uses the word, for example, is in reference to material things. John says, "... Whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in Him?" (4:17). Here, the "material" aspect of the world - the "stuff" we need for life - is what he had in mind.
But when John makes reference to "Do not love the world". In this case, he speaks of a system of beliefs and values that is diametrically opposed to God's way for us. It's a system - a philosophic world-view - that seeks to make life work out apart from God; a system seeks to "buy happiness" through the things of this earth, instead of seeking happiness through submission to God's commands. It is a system that is in fundamental rebellion against God, and that treats Him as if He wasn't there.

What are the characteristics of this ungodly system of beliefs and values? First, it neither gives acknowledgement to God, nor recognizes those who are His children. John says that "the world does not know us, because it did not know Him" (3:1). It only recognizes those who speak affirmingly of its values and priorities. Thus John speaks of false teachers and says, "They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them" (4:5). The attitude of this world system toward God and His children, then, is only one of hatred; "Do not marvel, my brethren," John says, "if the world hates you" (3:13).
The driving force behind this ungodly system of beliefs and values is the devil himself. Jesus called him "the ruler of this world" (John 16:11); and we're told in the Book of Revelation that he will deceive the whole world (Rev. 12:9). And so, John tells us, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world [that is, this evil system and everyone who operates within it] lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). 
And yet, God's people gain the victory over this ungodly, satanically inspired system through faith in Jesus Christ. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (5:4-5).

This, then, is the "world" John speaks of when he says, "Do not love the world or the things of the world". He's saying, "Do not love this evil, satanically inspired system of beliefs and values; nor love the things that spring forth from it, or that advance its influence in people's lives."The term “world” here means a mass of humanity which has alienated itself from God and is therefore hostile to the cause of Christ. So Many people's minds are consumed with materialism and lives for frivolous, temporary and meaningless things. The world signify the covetousness and everything that this temporal life has to offer which draws us away from God: away from holy living, away from obeying the Word of God, away from praying, away from living for Jesus, away from righteousness, and even away from Everlasting life.  It is tragic that the Word of God means so little to so many people. They do not understand the same God Who spoke the universe into existence and sustains all things by His word also authored the Bible? (Hebrews 1:2-3)Yet people ignoring God and His word. Bible says the world lives for its belly..." “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things." (Philippians 3:19). This describes the average person today, living for selfish motive. The world offers sinful pleasures, materialism, and self-gratification; all of which are directly opposed to the Word of God. 

Bible says “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2nd Corinthians 4:4) The phrase “god of this world” indicates that Satan is the major influence on the mind-set expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His areas of influence also encompass the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. Satan is called the "prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:2. He is called the "ruler of this world" In John 12:31. God, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed Satan to operate in this world (within the boundaries God has set for him) and has allowed Satan to operate with an agenda. When the Bible says Satan has power over the world, it must be made clear that God has given him domain over unbelievers alone. Believers are no longer under the rule of Satan Colossians 1:13. Unbelievers, on the other hand, are caught "in the snare of the devil" (2 Timothy 2:26), lie in the "power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19), and are in bondage to Satan. So, when the Bible says that Satan is the "god of this world," it is not saying that he has ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that Satan rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. Satan's agenda includes pushing a false philosophy onto the unbelieving world—a false philosophy that blinds the unbeliever from the truth of the Gospel. Satan’s philosophies are the fortresses in which people are imprisoned, needing to be set free and brought captive to Christ in obedience to the truth.

An example of a false philosophy might be a belief that man can earn God's favor by a certain act or acts. In fact, earning eternal life is a predominate theme around the world. Earning God's favor by works, however, is contrary to biblical revelation. Man cannot work to earn God's favor; eternal life is a free gift “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9. And that free gift is available through Jesus Christ and Him alone (John 3:16; 14:6). But Satan—the god of this world—pushes a false philosophy onto the world. Satan sets the agenda, the unbelieving world follows, and mankind continues to be deceived. It is no wonder that Scripture calls Satan a liar (John 8:44).The Devil never shows us what's hidden behind the neon lights of Sin City. 

Billy Graham said: "Our interests are in ourselves. We are preoccupied with material things. Our supreme god is technology. Our goddess is sex. Most of us are more interested in getting to the moon than getting to heaven. We are more dedicated to material security than to inward purity. We give much more thought to what we wear, what we eat, what we drink, and what we can do than what we are...."

The world we see around us is not the real world.  That may come as a shock to many in this materialistic age.  We can also add that the body we are presently living in is not our real body.  With these two statements we should quickly realize that a great percentage of our efforts in life are being spent chasing after things that are not really real.  How sad it is that our time in pursuit of real and lasting things accounts for such a minute fraction of our lifespan on this planet. Everything in this world is important and is placed here to help us understand and proceed to the world that is real.   All the things we see were created by a loving God.  All these things are vitally important to us, and we must be good stewards of them, but these things do not make up the real and lasting world that we should be seeking.

The Bible makes it very clear that the world around us will not last.  In 1 John 2:17

We read: “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”When we look at the Book of Revelation the passing of this world is painted for us in most vivid detail.  Because of man’s evil and rebellion, there will finally be a succession of plagues including blood, contamination, crashing asteroids, gigantic eruptions, supernatural locust invasions, disruption of heavenly bodies, etc.  When these dreadful plagues are all finished the world and universe as we know them will be finished too.  Billions of godless people will die in the process.  This is God’s judgment by fire of which 2 Peter 3:7 speaks: “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men” ( Mal. 4:1).  The good news is that even though the world is lost, the righteous will survive as we mentioned earlier in 1 John.  Then the Bible assures us that we will forever enjoy a new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 3:13).

 All this should not surprise us because we see the world’s passing illustrated every day of our lives.  For instance, we see our own physical bodies passing away.  Long ago the sin virus crept into the Garden of Eden, and we understand that death has resulted because of it (Rom. 5:14).  Indeed, the Bible states quite simply: “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).  Not only do our bodies die, but we are also watching our whole creation decay and pass away.  Sin has deeply affected our world and cosmos.  Because of it there is death, destruction and decay all around us.  The apostle Paul speaks of the creation as being in pain concerning this: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom. 8:22).  He makes clear that the creation is groaning for deliverance from the corruption of sin.This may all sound a bit pessimistic but it should be noted that some of our leading scientists and physicists are beginning to share similar views.  For instance, the second law of thermodynamics states that the energy in our universe is being used up; that the universe is actually decaying at a given rate.  This is the very thing that Hebrews 1:11-12 talks about when it speaks of the world’s demise in relation to Jesus: They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  You will roll them up like a robe.”   So we see that Jesus is the real and lasting one.  It is actually Jesus who will orchestrate this evil world’s judgment and ultimate demise.

The world will pass away. You were born with nothing and you can take nothing with you. Where will you be 100 years from now? 99% of the earth's population will ALL be dead 100 years from now. What will anything matter then? What will all of the money, fame, and pleasure in this world matter when we are dead and gone?

Bible says. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”  (1st Timothy 6:7). 

 Do we not realize that nothing will matter 100 years from now except what we did with Jesus Christ and the Word of God? In fact, everything we own will one day be returned to the dust of the earth from which it came. So many people want to fight, go to court, and get even with others over money and materialistic Things. Friends, the best things in life aren’t things. But Life itself is a miracle of God. The ability to go to work is a gift from God. Our health is a gift from God. Children are a gift from God. Yet, so many people take it all for granted and ignore God by rejecting the inspired Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
God, the Almighty Creator, our heavenly Father, who loves us very much, realized that, the Devil is using the flesh to destroy us. In order to save us, he had to put to death the flesh and that was exactly what Christ did. The Bible says that, "For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so also by one man many shall be made righteous. Satan was able to deceive man through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The message Christ's death on the cross is giving us is that, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If a man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. "For flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."The deeds of the flesh is rooted in the sin of covetousness and Covetousness leads one to disobey all the commandments of God, which then brings about sin.

What is Covetousness
Covetousness is a strong, unsatisfying, inordinate, excessive desire of acquiring, obtaining, possessing, and keeping some possessed good usually in a bad sense and applied frequently to an inordinate, unlimited, unlawful and extreme desire of riches. It is to desire in an illegal and evil way to have by hook or crook, in one way or another, by far means or foul means, those things that are possessed by others. It is an immoderate desire to gain and to get various kinds of things, which may seem innocent and safe, but will be dangerous, when they will be accumulated exceedingly and will be secured by force or in a sinful way. Lucifer coveted to be God and fell into depths of sin, because of his covetousness. "I will ascend above the heights of clouds: I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:14) Satan after falling because of his covetousness trapped Adam and Eve into the same snare and provoked them to desire to be as God and introduced the Sin of Covetousness into the world.

What brings about sin of covetousness – Lust? 

The Bible says in James 1:12-14 that "Let no man say when I am tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempt he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived it brings forth sin; and when sin it is finished, brings forth death." Again The Bible says in John 8:44 that " You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.” He did lied to Eve, and out of lust, she took of the fruit and ate it and gave it to Adam and he did eat too.
Even today the enemy uses the same three kinds of temptation, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, to entice us to sin. Scripture shows this process at work in both the Garden of Eden and the test in the wilderness. So Let us notice three things that will keep people out of heaven. The world draws the heart away from God, and the more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God decays. The things of the world are classed according to the three major appetites of fallen men.

 First temptation is the lust of the flesh?

Lust means an unhealthy desire for something. A person can lust after anything. The lust of the flesh refers to man’s desire for the courser things in life. The "lust of the flesh"  is an evil desire for the things of the flesh. Lust is most commonly associated with unrestrained sexual desires. Nevertheless, in its general use it applies to all areas of obsessive desire. It could be thirst for power, knowledge, or worldly possessions, which fill our daily thoughts in an unhealthy manner – causing us to pursue such things no matter the cost – many times creating a wave of pain and consequence. Bible to describe Adultery and fornication are both "works of the flesh" (Gal 5:19), and as such will keep those guilty out of heaven. God designed marriage to keep people from sexual sins (1 Cor.7:1-5). The marital bed is holy. The Hebrew writer tells us that "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb.13:4). This marital union is so sacred that God has only allowed one reason for a person to divorce their spouse and marry another, i.e., sexual immorality. Jesus plainly said, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matt.19:9). Lust of the flesh would not only include the immorality that is so wide spread; it would also include the addictions that plague our nation. It is man chasing after the things that the world says will give satisfaction. The problem is when he catches it, it does not satisfy.

The word LUST is defined as "Desire for what is forbidden; an obsessive craving." Lust as used in this place refers to the desire for things that are contrary to the will of God. Lust is NOT simply desire; it is illicit, unlawful or forbidden desire. The "lust of the flesh" often refers to unlawful sexual desire, that which would lead to fornication, as is illustrated in the following verse: James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. It is therefore possible to LUST after money, sex, power, pleasure, or nearly anything else on earth. Whatever we lust after to gratify the flesh is what is forbidden by the text in 1 John 2. What Scripture Says,"I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law " (Galatians 5:16-18).

Lust is a compelling obsession that may encompass all manner of fleshly or sensual desires, whether physical or intellectual (1 John 2:16). Accompanied by pride (a sense of one's own importance), lust is a product of one's natural tendency to sin.Paul lists several "works of the flesh," which result by yielding to lust and pride. He states "that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). However, the Bible says that with the help of Jesus, we can rise above our basic human nature with its lusts. 

 Second temptation is the lust of the eyes?

The "lust of the eyes" obviously refers to what is seen, or what we want to see. The eyes enjoy things of beauty, or riches, and when we lust after those things it is the lust of the eyes. The lust of the eyes is the desire for those things that we cannot have. It is an unquenchable appetite for more. Like the lust of the flesh, it promises to satisfy but it never does. There is always something else out there that the individual wants.
 The "lust of the eyes" speaks of eyes that are delighted with riches and rich possessions; this is the lust of covetousness. The Ten Commandments included a warning against covetousness. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's" (Exo.20:17).The writer of Proverbs tells us "he who hates covetousness will prolong his days" (Prov 28:16).Jesus admonishes us to "take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15). Paul instructs us to "put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col.3:5). The parable of the rich fool shows how dangerous a covetous attitude can be (Luke 12:16-20). How can one abstain from covetousness – The answer is contentment. Contentment is the state of being satisfied with what one has, not wanting more. Hebrews 13:5 let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Third temptation is the pride of life?

The pride of life is the desire for recognition. It is an attitude that demands attention. It is being driven to have prestige and power in the world. The "pride of life" is a vain craving for honor and applause, or the stubborn mind-set that will not allow one to repent of and confess their sins. King Saul is just one of many Bible characters who allowed pride to destroy them (1 sam15:1-23).
Think of the story our Lord told about the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee despised others and should have thought of the words of Solomon in (proverbs 8:13) "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate." The Pharisee prayed as one who needed no forgiveness, and got none. The tax collector prayed as one who needed God's forgiveness, and he received it.

The book of Proverbs speaks at great length about selfish pride and destruction it brings. It reminds us that "when pride comes, then comes shame" (prov. 11:2), and "by pride comes nothing but strife" (prov .13:10), and warns us that "pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (prov.16:18).
The five senses; are what Satan uses to tempt us! The lust of the flesh includes tasting, touching, smelling, and hearing. The lust of the eyes is seeing. The pride of life is thinking you are special because of who you are, what you have, what you know, or what you look like.

Temptation in the Garden

In the Garden of Eden: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh) and pleasing to the eye,( lust of the eyes) and also desirable for gaining wisdom, (pride of life) she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:6) Of course we know the rest of the story! Eve was deceived, Adam disobeyed, sin came into the world, and death passed upon all men by sin, for that ALL have sinned…

In the above verse, we notice that the tree was good for food in the eyes of the woman.That is the lust of the flesh. The enemy first tries to make us feel good. After getting our attention, he pulls us into a sinful world. That is the tactics of the enemy.

The second temptation is the lust of the eyes. We notice that it was pleasant to look at. That is the lust of the eyes. The enemy makes us believe his lies by showing the temporary enjoyment and later puts us in a permanent guilt. That is how the enemy works.
The third is the pride of life. The Bible says that the tree offered wisdom. That is the pride of life. Instead of getting wisdom from God, the enemy brings people and other avenues to offer worldly wisdom.
God told Eve that she couldn’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This would keep her from being aware of sin which would destroy her innocence and ruin her joy. Yet the serpent told her that she would be like God if she ate of the tree, appealing to the pride of life. She saw that the tree was “desirable to make one wise,” and she ate. This is the pride of life, a motive formed in arrogance, boastfulness, and self-centeredness. Rather than bowing down, trusting, and worshipping God, the pride of life motivates us, as it did Eve, to want to see god in ourselves. Eve also saw that the tree was “good for food,” meaning that it looked like it would taste good and be satisfying and enjoyable to eat. But the pleasures of sin are temporary, and Eve fell for the lust of the flesh, trusting in her sensory modalities rather than in the word of God spoken to her. The lust of the flesh trusts man’s judgment, feelings, and temporary conveniences in lieu of God’s inalterable Word. Eve also saw that the tree was a “delight to the eyes,” for it was a beautiful creation of God. Sin does not necessarily appear as ugly, dirty, and destructive, for Satan himself pretend to be as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The fruit that God told Eve not to eat was extremely enticing and attractive in its appearance. The lust of the eyes propelled Eve down the road of deception until she disobeyed God and incurred the penalties of sin. Both Adam and Eve learned the hard way that the knowledge of evil corrupted their natures resulting in distrust, fear, alienation, pain, and many other hideous things for the rest of their lives. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life all work in sinister collaboration to lead us astray, to keep us from trusting God’s Word, and to fall for the schemes of the devil.

The Bible uses the term “flesh” frequently to describe that which is left within us that opposes the Spirit of God within our hearts. There is a battle that takes place daily, even moment by moment, between the Spirit and the flesh. As Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Any time we give into the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, we are walking by the flesh rather than by the Spirit. As Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” And yet, God will not force anyone to obey His will -- we are creatures with free moral agency -- we can reject all that God has done for us and judge ourselves "unworthy of everlasting life".
Satan knows how to break us down, but now we have his playbook. May God make us quick to see the temptations of lust and pride so that we can choose life, freedom, and truth. Sin always brings pain and death (Romans 6:23), but God offers pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). The choice is really simple…if only we could remember that in the heat of the battle.

The enemy has not changed. He came to Jesus to tempt him with the same three temptations. But the difference is Jesus did not give in. Jesus not only resisted the enemy but, made him flee. That is the lesson we learn here. Jesus shows us how to overcome the enemy in our lives. We need to be like Jesus and talk like Him when the enemy comes to us. That is the bottom line.
We see a parallel here. The devil that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden came to temp the Son of God when he was here on earth. Satan tried the same three temptations during his conversation with Jesus in the wilderness. First, he tempted Christ with the lust of the flesh. The tempter came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4) This is the first temptation of the lust of the flesh.

Second, he tempted Christ with the lust of the eyes. “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.   Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. (Matthew 4:8-10)

Third, he tempted Christ with the pride of life. “Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God, “he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:“‘He will command his angels concerning you,  and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:5-6). Christ successfully resisted the temptations of the Devil and now we can too! “Forjust as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”(Romans 5:19)

The enemy still uses the same tactics. But the Lord Jesus Christ defeated the devil on the Cross of Calvary. That victory is available for us today to overcome the enemy in our lives. If the enemy tempted Jesus, we should not be surprised if the enemy comes to us. Jesus used the word of God when the tempter came to Him. Likewise we need to use God’s word against the enemy’s attacks. The power of the Word of God will defeat the power of the enemy.

Romans chapter five contrasts the disobedience of Adam and obedience of Jesus Christ. The former caused sin and death to enter the world and latter caused all men to live forever. Through his obedience, Jesus became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.

The love of God shall never fail.

 Bible says, “you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2) “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8.
Many years ago Matthew Henry wrote: "The things of the world quickly fade and die away; desire itself will ere long fail and cease, but holy affection is not like the lust that passes away. The love of God shall never fail. Many vain efforts have been made to evade the force of this passage by limitations, distinctions, or exceptions. Many have tried to show how far we may be carnally-minded, and love the world; but the plain meaning of these verses cannot easily be mistaken. Unless this victory over the world is begun in the heart, a man has no root in himself, but will fall away, or at most remain an unfruitful professor. Yet these vanities are so alluring to the corruption in our hearts, that without constant watching and prayer, we cannot escape the world, or obtain victory over the god and prince of it."
You can trace most problems in life back to the natural sinful state of selfishness, from which come fleshly and intellectual lusts and pride. No matter what form it takes, be aware of the fact that Satan constantly appeals to it. Yet through Christ, you can have a new, changed nature. The power of the Holy Spirit will give you the ability to overcome sin in your life.

Realize the fact that you can be in bondage to lust to the extent that you allow harmful thoughts and activities to fill your mind. This is often the case with sexual lust. Constant thinking or fantasizing about fornication and adultery is sin (Matthew 5:28). To be free, you must repent, ask God for forgiveness and renounce the lust. Pray for the ability to overcome temptation. God is faithful and will forgive your sin (1 John 8,9). There is no sin so bad that He won't cleanse. Even the most scarlet of sins, He will make "white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).
Basic human nature is not automatically destroyed as a result of salvation. Rather, your human nature is atoned for and pardoned. This means you still need to exercise control over lust and pride, which can be accomplished by renewing your mind through daily reading God's Word and communicating with Him in prayer. Self-control and obedience to God will help you gain control over lust, rather than allowing lust to control you (Galatians 5:22,23; 1 Corinthians 9:25,27).

A person's spirit is fed by what is allowed to enter. In other words, the Bible says that what you sow is what you will reap. So, rather than sow seeds of lustful thoughts and desires, choose to meditate on things that are pleasing to the Lord. He has promised to reward those who diligently seek Him and His ways.
Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Either sin will keep you from God's Word, or God's Word will keep you from sin. As you read, understand, apply and practice the Scriptures and meditate upon them daily, you will have victory over lust and all other things which might tend to separate you from the God. May God give you His marvelous grace to embrace His perfection as your perfection, and His holiness will be your holiness.


The Bible records for us many great men and women of God who sought for what is real and lasting.  In Hebrews 11:10 we read about our spiritual forefather, Abraham.  We see that he is commended by the Lord, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Father Abraham was in search of unseen things; of a heavenly city.  Apostle Paul concludes for us in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is
unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  Imagine that; everything we can see, even including the heavenly bodies, is passing away.  Even the present Jerusalem is in bondage and is passing away.  If we focus on all these seen things, we will lose the unseen world and we too will pass away.  Now how can we discover that which is unseen and eternal? The Bible makes clear we cannot do such a thing on our own.It rather instructs us: “Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down)”or 'Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:6-9).   Pure religion must begin by accepting Jesus and afterward it becomes a lifelong quest for that which is true and real.  We see that the revelation of this true, real and unseen world is found in the Bible, God’s holy word.   It is sad indeed that the Bible is spurned and ridiculed by so many millions in our “enlightened” society.  So the word of faith; the life-saving word is given to us.  The living word, Jesus, has actually come down to live among us in
our world (Jn. 1:9-12). This living word is the only one who can introduce us to this real, spiritual and eternal world.  He came down from heaven freely giving his life for us.  He came to live and then die an atoning death for all of us. Then he was raised from the dead by the mighty power of God.  There is no other way into the real world.  In fact, Jesus makes this plain by saying: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

What is ETERNAL 

Now let us think of some things besides God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son that are eternal. Well, the truth of God is eternal as we see in Psalm 117:2 “the truth of the LORD endures forever”.  Along this same line, the word of God is eternal. Isaiah 40:8 says: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”  The Kingdom of God is eternal as is seen in Luke1:33.  It is said of Jesus: “he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  It is this kingdom that we are to seek most of all, and God promises if we do this, the necessary earthly things will be added to us(Matt. 6:33).   Let us go on with some more examples.  The love of God is eternal for he says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3).  Then, the life that he grants to us is an eternal life as we see in 1 John 5:11-12: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  We might add that the things we do for the sake of Jesus and his kingdom will also last forever (Lk. 12:33; 2 Cor. 4:17). Years ago I remember seeing a little sign on the wall that read: “Only one life, It will soon be passed.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  In Matthew 6:20-21 Jesus says: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   Obviously things like moths, rust, thieves, decay, death, etc., all serve as continual reminders to us that the world we live in not the real world.  None of us will ever be truly satisfied with such a world.  There is a very good reason for this and that reason is given to us in Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.”  Thus we all have a vision of eternity.  In each of our hearts we have an inexpressible longing for it. Perhaps the great church father, Augustine, summed it up best long ago when he said: “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”

How to find God's perfect will

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 says “Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
The Bible is clear about what God desires from us.  Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Ephesians 5, 15-17

  Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  When Paul says “I urge you” the Greek indicative is to beg or plead with the brothers and sisters.  The word “urge” is more like a desperate plea for your own sakes and in fact the word urge is from the root word for “urgent.”  This means it is of critical importance.  Also, notice in verse two that it says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  This renewing is the same Greek word that typifies the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration (Matt.17:1-6).  This is where the Shekina Glory was revealed to Peter, James, and John.

So we know that God desires for us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind by the Holy Spirit.  In Romans 1:2 it says, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  It says that only then, that is after the renewing of the mind and not being patterned after this world, that we can know “his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”  That’s it! This is His perfect will!  God’s will for our lives is that we not be conformed to the world but allow the Holy Spirit to transform our minds and then we can “what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  How clearer can it be?  That is God’s will for our lives.  It is not for us to be rich, to never be sick, and to not suffer, but to conform to His will and His will is a “perfect will!”  Wouldn’t you expect to know where to find God’s will?  Naturally you can find it in the Bible, because God’s Word to us is the Bible.

So God’s will for our lives is to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, to not be conformed to the world, and maybe even to suffer.  Wait!  To suffer?  First Peter 3:17 says, “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”  Jesus had to suffer more than anyone else in human history and just before Calvary Jesus “fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39).  There it is. Jesus wanted to seek and do God the Father’s will over His own. And what was God’s will for Jesus?  The prophet Isaiah tells us what God’s will was for Jesus just before the brutal Calvary: “Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand” (Is. 53:10).  Yes, this was God the Father’s will for Jesus.  His will for Jesus was to “crush him and cause him to suffer” and to make “his life a guilt offering” for those who would believe in Him.  It should not surprise us then that sometimes God’s will is for us to suffer and this suffering is for God’s glory!  I realize that for some who are reading this article about how to find God’s will for your life would not ever think about it being to suffer, but this is from the Bible and the Bible is God speaking to us from His Word (2 pet.1:20-21, 2 Tim.3:16).

Seek Godly Counsel

Another way to find God’s will in your life is to seek the counsel of an adviser, a friend, a pastor, or teacher.  The Bible says that “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 24:6b).  Proverbs 11:4b also says that “there is safety in having many advisers.”  The key word in these proverbs is many.  Asking your best friend may not help you find God’s will for your life.  It may be good advice but it may not be God’s will.
It’s not like God is trying to hide His will from us or that He will not help us find His will for our lives.  Just read Ephesians 1:11, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”  Everything will work out for our best and things in our life will be according to “the purpose of his will.” Romans 8:28 confirms “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Trust God’s Sovereignty

As we read in Romans 8:28, Christians can rest in the fact that God is sovereign over everything that happens in this life.  He directs events, He puts people in our paths, and essentially He enables us to be in the right place at the right time.  Proverbs 21:1 is one of my favorite Scriptures for reassurance when I am praying for God’s will in my life, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”  If God can direct the king’s heart to “wherever He wishes”, then surely He can direct you to the right employer, to the right woman or man, to the right ministry, or whatever His will is for you.  The key here is that your will must be aligned with His will or you will be frustrated.
We already know that God’s will is for us to not be conformed to this world, to be renewed in our minds by the Holy Spirit, and to seek godly counselors, but He also wants us to know that He is directing your life in His good and pleasing sovereignty for what is best for you (Rom 8:28).  He wants you to trust Him in this directing.  Proverbs 16:33 indicates that “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”  This clearly means that if we cast some dice, God not only knows where they will land, but what their sum total will be.  That “decision is from the LORD.”  The question is, will you trust Him with it?
Daniel 4:35 says “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.  No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”  If God does what He pleases with the nations of the world, and “no one can hold back His hand”, then surely you must know that He can help you find your will for your life which will also be His will for your life.  An important lesson here is that God’s will for your life should be what you are seeking as your will for your life.  You do not want to seek your will unless it is also God’s will. To seek a will for your life that is different from that of God’s will for your life will be a continual frustration.

Aligning Your Will with God’s

The true joy in your life will be finding God’s will for it.  Anything short of this will not be pleasing to God and will not please you in the end. God’s will for your life is also revealed in these Scriptures.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Final Thoughts

Without exception, Human wisdom elevates the self and lowers God. It always, no matter how seemingly sincere and objective and scholarly, caters to human self–will, pride, fleshly inclinations, and independence. Those are the basic characteristics of the unredeemed, and they always direct and determine the unredeemed thinking, desires, and conclusions. The reason people love complex, elaborate philosophies and religions is because these appeal to human ego. They offer the challenge of understanding and doing something complex and difficult. For the same reason some people scoff at the gospel. It calls on them to do nothing—it allows them to do nothing—but accept in simple faith what God has done. The cross crushes human sin and crushes human pride. It also offers deliverance from sin and deliverance from pride.
Since the cross represents painful death and profound humiliation, it calls into question the conventional wisdom about power and the divine. The ancients took for granted that deities possessed power, and the degree of their power determined their ranking in the pyramid of gods. In the cross, that pyramid is turned upside down. The most powerful God appears to be the most powerless. The cross (confuses) of all secular and religious attempts based on human wisdom to make sense of God and the world. Victory is won by giving up life, not taking it. Selfish domination of others is discredited. (The Shame of a Death on the cross, the penalty reserved for the lowest criminal), is removed through divine identification with the shamed in a shameful death. God offers a new paradigm that makes the experience of shame the highest path to glory and honor. What makes the story of the cross even more offensive to humans is that it is not simply the foundation of human redemption but is also to become the way of life for believers.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2).
God doesn’t want to frustrate us in seeking His will for our lives.  As it says in Deuteronomy 19:29,  “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.“  We can see that finding God’s will for our lives is found in the Bible.  His words to us are His Word in print – the Bible.  You will be amazed at how much of God’s will for your life will be plainly revealed to you by simply reading ,meditating ,understanding and applying the Bible every day.  God is not trying to hide His will for your life.  That is not His way.  He wants you to know His will and the will of God are in the words of God.

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