When we think of the term “world” many different ideas, images and concepts come to mind. The song “What a Wonderful World” points to positive and uplifting things that make up the world around us. Sometimes we use world to refer to the planet earth. Other times, such as in the most well-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, it refers to all the people in the world. There are also negative aspects of the term we’ve come to accept as part of life like worldly greed.
Today we’re going to be talking about our enemy world as the Bible uses this term. Here’s a definition:
The enemy the world is the transitory system of beliefs, standards, values and priorities that are opposed to God, influenced by sin, controlled by Satan and accepted, embraced and promoted by the society in which we live.
The world want us to love it. It appeals to us from outside of ourselves by luring us to pursue what it has to offer. It attacks us with desires just like the flesh. The desires of the world aren’t a list of things but categories of desires because they change to reflect the times.
The 3 Categories of Desires from our Enemy the World
- desires of the flesh – external manifestations of desires of the flesh Galatians 5:19-21.Our enemy the world takes the same attacking desires of the flesh and dangles them before us through media such as TV and movies, glorifying sinful activities such as partying, getting drunk, sex outside of marriage, superstition, lying and envy as desirable 1 John 2:16.
- desires of the eyes – a desire for beauty, personal beauty and beautiful things.The world idolizes outwardly beautiful people. It declares happiness is found with beautiful homes, cars, clothing, purses, jewelry and stuff 1 John 2:16.
- pride of life or possessions – a desire for selfish ambition.The world says you must get ahead at any cost and be rich, powerful, famous and important to be happy. What you need is most important 1 John 2:16.
Not all of the things above are bad or evil by themselves. It’s loving them and seeking them independently of God that’s the problem. How can you tell if you have a problem with the enemy the world? By your priorities. Does God have the highest priority when it comes to your time, talents and treasure? What are you working hardest to attain, the things mentioned above or God’s pleasure?
It isn’t how much you have, it’s what you desire most that reveals who or what you love.
Our defense against our enemy the world is to continually renew our minds with God’s perspective Romans 12:2. Daily we’re bombarded with worldly attacks. The answer isn’t to become a hermit. Rather immerse yourself in the Word each day. Regularly spend time with brothers and sisters in Christ. Evaluate everything you do. If you do everything with eternity’s values in mind, you’ll be loving God, not the world.
How have you learned to have God’s perspective on stuff? Please leave a comment or question below.