lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life
not of the Father" (1 Jn 2:16)
we indulge in the works of the flesh, we are sure to miss the leading of
the Holy Spirit. Sensuality and spirituality are opposed to each other and
the battle goes on constantly in our hearts (Rom 8:12-14). We may read the
Bible, say our prayers and go through all the disciplines of Christian
life. But if we don't learn to say no to sinful desires, we cannot say yes
to the Spirit's directions in our life. Our sinful nature cannot be
eradicated from us but we can be emancipated from it by the Spirit of Life
(Rom 8:2). We must constantly reckon our old man as dead. This is more
than an occasional meditation. Rather it's a conscious moment-by-moment
assertion. This inner victory is fundamental to fight other battles
outside of us.
"good and acceptable and perfect will of God" is made known only
to those who refuse to be conformed to the fashions and pattern of the
world (Rom 12:2). Those who choose the line of least resistance and swim
along the tide will be going against the will of God whether they realise
it or not. The trend of the world never aligns itself with the ways of the
Lord, because "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked
one" (1 Jn 5:19). So wrote an apostle in the first century! Imagine
the depth of corruption, the height of iniquity and the breadth of
wickedness into which the world has rolled itself during the centuries
that have followed. It's hard to imagine further deterioration.
love of the world and the craving for the things of the world is spiritual
adultery. This sets us opposed to the love of God and makes us actually
His enemies (Js 4:3,4; 1 Jn 2:15). This does not mean we cannot possess
any material goods or enjoy them. The question is whether we possess them
or they possess us. It is the attachment to things and overindulgence in
pleasures which are condemned (1 Cor 7:29-31). God is not against our
legitimate enjoyment of life on earth. But the true test is how we feel
when we are called to forsake the earthly blessings or they are culled
from us. The stronger the grip the more difficult it is to give up and
follow God's guidance.
your basic needs are more than met where you are in the will of God,
beware of "praying about" offers for more salary and comfort!
What the world calls as opportunities may actually be traps! "If I
earn more I can give more to God's work"óMany justify their
materialistic ambitions this way. But the poor God gets the same old 10%!