Your Choice: World/Culture or God. Choose Well.

1 John 2:16

You know, God doesn’t care that we want certain things, it’s that He wants us to want Him more than we want those certain things. He declared in the beginning that He is a jealous God who will not allow other gods to be adored more than Him.

That’s why an understanding of these words is so important to our walk of faith and purpose. We have to grasp the truth that there is an enemy who wants to stop our journey with God, and he is the one supplying the culture around us with these things: a passionate longing for physical pleasure, a deep lustful desire for all we see, and a boastfulness about our lives and possessions.

These three become the impetus for our idol worship, our choosing self over God, and believers need to be aware that they are not immune to them.

More and more we see the attitude, even in the church, that physical pleasure is paramount. We must be comfortable, feel good, and enjoy everything life has to offer — regardless what God says about it. This is not God’s way. His way is to love and sacrifice for others, and that’s what He expects of us.

The deep lustful desire for all we see is prevalent not only in the world, but among believers as well. We see, we want, we do whatever it takes to get it, whether than means to work harder, manipulate others, steal, demand, or buy without money. God never wanted us to be this way. He wants us to see Him and desire Him above all else.

This last one is tricky. He is not saying it’s worldly to take pride in what we do. It’s not sinful to have pride in the talents and abilities He has given you and thus the accomplishments He has afforded you. No. This scripture is talking about the false pride, the bravado, the boastfulness of one who is relying fully on self and bragging about doing the things God actually did. Jesus set the bar high for this. He was God, walking around among those He created. He could create or kill with a word, yet He did not. Instead of engaging those religious leaders who were teaching lies to the people, He could have caused the earth to swallow them up like He did Dathan and Abiram and the followers of Korah. He did not. Jesus walked humbly, not bragging about what He did or could do. He accepted praise, but did not beg for it or show off to get it. This is what we need to do.

Scripture is amazing. It is more than words written on a page. The Holy Spirit who lives in every true believer opens the eyes and ears of that believer as he or she reads those words. He shows that believer how to apply those words as instruction, correction, rebuke, and preparation for living the life He has designed for us and us for.

Today is an excellent day to take a look at your life. Which of these reign in your life? Do you have a craving for physical pleasure and all you see along with a boastfulness trying to get people to look at you and your accomplishments — people pleasing?

Don’t panic! We all have those temptations! We all have those invitations.

We simply have to learn to choose God over self and not give into those cravings. We have a promise in Psalms 37:4, that IF we delight ourselves in God, make much ado about Him, find pleasure in spending time with Him, THEN He will supply us with the desires He wants us to have instead of these cravings the world offers. And, just so you know… you don’t have to supply the willpower to accomplish this delighting yourself in Him. Philippians 2:13 says that God gives you the desire AND the power to do what pleases Him.

What? Yes.

All you have to do to thwart what the culture around you offers is to seek God. Take great pleasure in knowing Him, spending time with Him, learning about and from Him. HE does the hard work of changing your desires from those of the world to those He approves, and then He goes above and beyond, giving you the power to do what pleases Him.

What do you say? Are you ready to take on this battle by surrendering to the Savior? Let’s do this.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!