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The pull of the world
- Jacob Ninan
If we have been born again, one of the many things that happen to us is that our heart gets more interested in the things of God than in the things of this world. If we have found Jesus to be the pearl of greatest value, automatically other things will lose their value in comparison. Where our heart is shows where our treasure is (Mt.6:21).
However, it is not automatic that our heart is constantly kept on the things of God, because the things of this world and the lusts of our flesh keep drawing us away from God. The people of Israel who heartily promised God that they would keep all that He told them (Ex.24:7) fell into idolatry almost immediately afterwards (Ex.32:1). That is why we are exhorted much to set our heart on the things of God (Co.3:1-3), and not to love the world or the things in the world (1Jn.2:15-17). We have to consciously remind ourselves to let our life centre around God, and keep checking ourselves to see if we are straying away.
One of the first things Satan tries to do to us is to tempt us to sin, offering us some immediate pleasure, some easy wealth, some earthly advantage, etc. It is the word of God that can be a lamp unto our feet (Ps.119:105), show us the narrow way that leads to life (Mt.7:14), and warn us about deviations that can lead us away from God. The word of God is also called our spiritual food (1Pe.2:2) without which we cannot get our nourishment and become strong in the Lord (Ep.6:10). If we are not strong spiritually the devil can easily trip us up because he is a deceiver who looks for our weak moments.
But another way the devil trips us up is to keep our interests in the world. If he can keep us occupied with innocent looking things, he can manage to keep us away from God without our realising it! There is nothing wrong in doing our work and earning a living, is there? But if our whole life revolves around it and the prospects of our advancement there, how much time will we have for God? Perhaps it is our interest in visiting new places and taking photographs that forms a major part of our free time. It could be sampling different restaurants and dishes, trying out dresses or hair styles, keeping up with the latest technology and gadgets, acquiring bigger houses and cars, etc., that take up a huge chunk of our life. Perhaps we feel the pressure of life so much that we find ways to relax through watching TV, and then it becomes a major part of our life. Or we have become conscious about keeping up our health and our thoughts and activities are about our diet and exercises.
We can always tell ourselves that there is nothing sinful in what we are doing. But don't we see that these things can rob us of the time we could have spent before God getting to know Him and learning His ways? Perhaps God wanted to use us to serve other people as His salt and light in this world and we missed it!
Let's make God the focus and treasure of our life, and be moderate in everything else.