"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he that does the will of God abides forever." -- 1 John 2:15-17
A toddler once told his dad, "I hate the devil . . . but I don't hate his candy!" Leave it to a child to put together the evils of the devil and the "evils" of candy--and still feel no shame!
Isn't that typical of all of us? Maybe not exactly like a two-year-old kid. But for all of us, to some degree, intentionally or not, personal pleasure is a top priority.
Sure, we know the devil is bad. And sure, we know the old saying that too much of a "good" thing is also bad. We may even know also that many of the things that please us the most are often the things that can hurt us the most.
But we still like what we like, and we still want what we like--and we still, most of us, go for what we like.
Consider candy. It tastes great. And once you've had a taste, you always want some more. If allowed and without a balanced diet, you'll eat it 'til you're sick and toothless.
Same with the pleasures of life in this world. Aside from the more obvious vices like drugs, our "candy" may be money, status, attention, work, play, physical appearance, food, sex, whatever. There's nothing wrong with wanting genuinely pleasurable things in life, especially if they were created by our loving Heavenly Father for our enjoyment within the proper context (John 1:3). But leave it to the master of all deceit to distort our priorities and pervert those things into objects for our over-indulgence. 'Cause once you get a taste, you always want more. And the devil knows it.
Any over-indulgence has its corresponding price. The more "candy" of life you consume without a proper balanced diet of God's Word and grace for self-control, the more price you'll have to pay (e.g., 1 Timothy 6:10). Your life will be fed to the full on "empty calories" with no nourishment to sustain your spirit and affect the lives of others.
In short, your spirit gets sick and your witness lacks teeth.
Consider this even more: The same warning we give our kids, about don't take candy from strangers, should also apply to how we all make decisions for our lives. This is true for Christians and the unsaved alike. The devil entices us with all the various pleasures of this world until we've been lured right into his cleverly disguised trap. He distracts and distorts and deceives until the saved become ineffective in this world and the unsaved continue to be unmoved.
To help prevent this, we all must be discerning; and we all must apply God's will for our lives. As 1 John 2:15-17 shows us, "candy" can corrupt, but God's will is nourishing "food" for life.
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Excellence! This is so well written and eye-opening! I pray it gets flooded with readers and that the Lord will open hearts to understand its blessed message.
Laurel, Amen! When we walk in God's will He will bring balance to our lives. Blessings, Rita