I’m going to do something different this week and get back to the primary goal of my blog, and in the future, all of Abiding Ways Ministries. It’s so easy to become distracted, to lose sight of our/MY calling and the purpose(s) of doing God’s will and work.
The focal passage this week is 1 John 2:16-17. More broadly, I hope you’ll take the time to pray, read and study 1 John 2:1-17. John was writing to believers “so that you will not sin”. Knowing that we’re all sinners, John also assures us that we, as Jesus followers, have an advocate (think lawyer) in our Lord. And not just available to us but “the whole world”!
He goes on to describe a comparison between those that know God (obedient to His commandments) and those that don’t (disobedient and liar and “not living in the truth”).
He then re-emphasizes the very basic commandment -one we’ve had from the very beginning—LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!! (1 John 2:7-11 ). He then writes to each level of believer, whether a baby, new, or mature Christian.
In 1 John 2:15-16 he then admonishes all to “not love this world or the things it offers you”. If those things are more important than your relationship with God, you might want to re-evaluate things as he then states that IF you do “the love of the Father is NOT in you.”
Now to get to the meat of my train of thought this week. Three distinct internal behaviors are mentioned: Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. I’m going to take a look with you at all three starting with “lust of the flesh”.
Lust of the flesh
So often I think this is most associated with just sexual sin.(adultery, homosexuality, etc) but what about those other things we do instead of doing what we should be? Over-indulgence in food and alcohol, substance abuse, Facebook, other social media and the internet in general? “Flesh” refers to “the outlook orientated towards self, that which pursues its own ends in self-sufficient independence of God” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology). It means all the things we do for the sake of materialism, egocentricity, exploitation of others, and selfishness. It means all the things we do for the sake of materialism, egocentricity, exploitation of others, and selfishness. It is also the root cause of racism, sexism, love of injustice, despising the poor, neglecting the weak and helpless, and every unrighteous practice.
In the Garden of Eden, this is how Eve was decieved even after God told her and Adam that everything else was available to them except this one tree. (Gen. 3:1-6). Satan twisted words to accomplish his purpose, got Eve’s attention when she looked, saw it was good for eating and even better, would “make her as wise as God” (note how fleshly lust, envy (lust of the eyes) and being like God (pride) all are in that one passage? (Gen. 3:6)
So, what “lusts of the flesh” are you battling? I have a few and am so thankful that my advocate, JESUS is there to strengthen, empower and prayerfully, overcome. After all, isn’t our passionate purpose to be more like Him? I know mine is!
We’ll talk more about lust of the eyes on Wednesday and pride of life on Friday. The beginning of our holiday season is here so there are quite a few family events to attend-and I love it! I’m brushing up on my HTML to get the Abiding Ways teaching module(s) operational. Also, an email newsletter so you can subscribe and get a taste before eating the whole meal . I’m still diligently working on minimalizing our STUFF. Not sure if I’ll ever be able to say “It is finished” right now. Prayers are coveted for patience with myself. Also, prayers as I remember my son Eric who passed away two years ago this week. That pain never really goes away.
I hope you’ll comment below and let me know what you think of this style of post. Also, if you care to share a prayer need, or a “lust of the flesh” battle you are confronting, I’d love to pray for you!
I hope you’ll consider joining the Abiding Ways Ministries Facebook group too. As the Lord leads, that will be where you get insider information about what’s happening.
Thanks for reading and have a great and blessed day!