For many Christians, what the world offers is still very appealing. So appealing that these things are their primary pursuits.
Where time, money and energy is spent reveals what people are focused on. When the brunt of a person’s time, money and energy is spent pursuing increases in prestige, more money and additional comforts in life, it shows what’s most appealing to them.
This happens because it looks and feels like the opportunities being offered by the world are going to provide more value than the alternatives.
For this to stop, something has to happen that makes the world unappealing. It has to look and feel like something better has come along. It has to be something worth moving on from the world’s pursuits for.
What are your expectations?
In the book Love Not The World, Watchman Nee points out a way this can happen…
Let us suppose…the school where you are employed must be closed. As soon as you hear this news you realize there is no future for you in that school. You go on working there for a period, but you do not build up anything for the future there.
Your attitude to the school must change the instant you hear it must close down. You put nothing in because you expect nothing from it.
You can lose interest in the world if you come to clearly see what the world’s future is.
When you see something has no future, what’s the point of going on with it? Any plans you have with it aren’t going to last anyway. Continuing to work on its progress is just folly. Your best bet is to work on building something that still has hope for a lasting future.
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation like this. It might have been a job, a relationship, or a project that wasn’t working out. Remember when it dawned on you that whatever it was really had no future? Remember how de-motivated you became?
Did you really want to go on another date with that person that you knew you weren’t going to stick with? Or did you want to spend your time doing something else? Wasn’t it really hard to stay motivated those last two weeks at that job you were leaving? Exactly.
The fate of the world is in progress
The verdict was delivered at the cross. The fate of the world’s system and the mind behind it has been sealed. It’s already been doomed, and the sealing of its fate is in progress.
How much was this emphasized in the message about Christ you heard and received? Or was it just all about having your sins forgiven? There’s a good chance that the degree to which this element was emphasized is the degree to which you have lost interest in the world’s pursuits.
The clearer the fate of what the world offers becomes to you, the more your posture and attitude toward it changes. Your choices start to adjust to what you’ve seen.
Your soul experiences a release from it that ultimately turns the tables.
It’s a transfer of power
You still are in and interacting with the world since we can’t physically escape it in this lifetime. You still have a calling to operate with it. But there’s a transfer of power.
Because your interest has changed, its pull is weaker. Instead of feeling like it’s hard to resist, you find it easier to cast it aside.
Even better, you find that you can now have power over it instead.
You start to use the things of the world for building something else. They become your tools for building what has a lasting future.
Your work no longer pulls at you strongly to give more of yourself to it to earn more glory. Instead, it becomes something you acquire resources from that you can use to build the Kingdom. As soon as it doesn’t help with that purpose, you’re looking for an option that does.
Material possessions no longer pull at you so you can be more comfortable and feel better about your status in relation to others. Instead, they become things that have no use except to build the Kingdom. As soon as they don’t help with that purpose, you have no need of them.
Relationships no longer pull at you as solutions for dealing with unhealthy issues. Instead, relationships become co-equal partnerships built on a foundation of mutual and sacrificial love. As soon as you realize this isn’t happening, you stop investing in them.
A good investor doesn’t invest in things guaranteed to fail. If they did, they’d lose everything. Instead, they invest in things they know will hold their value.
The world may look shiny on the outside, but Kingdom citizens can see its true substance and they aren’t interested in buying what it’s offering.
These are the best words of wisdom I’ve heard really long time. Excellent post!
Here’s some great thinking expressed rather clearly that could be the basis for a sermon on what has become my go-to Scripture; John 16:33. Jesus assures His disciples that the world will be troublesome. But He also assures us that He has overcome the world.