“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” “If anyone loves this world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Strong statements from both the apostle James and the apostle John. You may ask: “Why?” What is this “world” that they speak of, and what do they mean by being a friend of the world and by loving the world? Doesn’t God “love the world?”
The apostle John explains the love of the world as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
The reason God hates the lust of the flesh is that he wants to indwell us and he wants us to crave spiritual pleasures like love, joy and peace.
Bodily cravings for various pleasures can take the place of spiritual pleasures, and Our Father wants us to desire the pleasures that he offers, not the pleasures that the world offers.
The reason God hates the lust of the eyes is that he wants our spiritual eyes to be on him, not on some chosen idol of physical beauty that we crave to possess. He wants us to desire him in our life, not some earthly idol.
The reason God hates the pride of life, which the apostle John describes as “the boasting of what we have and do,” is that he wants us to glory in him; he wants us to boast about him, not ourselves.
Our Father is “a jealous God.” He created us for himself, and he is jealous when our affections are shared with this world system. He wants our hearts to be pure. He wants us to be single mindedly devoted to Christ.
And we must remember that the majority of the world hated Christ. They did not like him pointing out their sin, and they didn’t like his strict standard of exclusive devotion to him. That is why the majority of people still choose the “broad and easy path” that leads to destruction. The “straight and narrow path” is still an uncrowded path, but it still leads to heaven.
~ Brad Heilhecker