Pastor Carl continued the series Talking Back having talked about the devil, the flesh, and this week moving on to the world. By now we should all have it memorized that deceitful ideas appeal to disorder desires that are normalized in simple society. We all have desires that carry more weight than they deserve in our lives. Pastor Carl was brave enough to confess his love of black jellybeans and how his disordered desire for jellybeans outweighed his desire to get in shape. The truth is we all have some black jellybeans in our lives.
Jesus said that as we ordered our lives to honor what he honors the world would hate us the way it hated Him. Explaining this from John 15, we learned that just as Jesus was rejected by the world, those who value what He values will also be rejected.
The world is more than just the physical earth or humanity in general, we defined the world as the system of popular ideas, values, practices, and social norms that are institutionalized in a culture organized around the twin sins of rebellion against God and redefinition of good and evil. The world is constantly redefining what is good and what is evil and attacks those who want to live in obedience to God.
This is a fight that’s as old as the Garden. We read in Genesis 3 how the serpent tempted Eve saying that the fruit of the forbidden tree would be good for food, delightful to the eyes, and that it was desirable to make one wise. Since then our fight has been the same, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
The world wants us to believe that we have no control over our desires, our choices, or our community. But this is a trap of the devil to make us choose the ways of the world. We combat the ways of the world with the spiritual disciplines that we have been practicing. The most important of which is to gather weekly as a church to sit under the preached word, to pray for one another, to consecrate the beginning of our week, and to worship our God together.
This week, take time and notice how the world once you did conform to its system. Ask Holy Spirit to show you how you have conformed to ways that violate God’s principles. Commit yourself to continuing a spiritual discipline this week so that we can be undergoing countercultural spiritual formation.