Yesterday I began blogging about us as aliens in residence. Today I am continuing those thoughts.
Is it any wonder Christians struggle today? Look around you and really see with eyes wide open the lure and seductions of the world. Peter was so very wise, and as he wrote these letters to the believers he wanted them to be sure and remember that this world is not their home, and it is not our home either.
Dear friends, as resident aliens and refugees, I urge you to keep at a safe distance from the fleshly desires that are poised against your soul like an expeditionary force...1 Peter 2:11 (CCNT)
Notice, he didn't tell us to stay away from Wal-mart or television or newspapers. He warns us to stay away from the desires of the flesh, those things that suck us into the vortex of the love of this world and its pleasures. Now, for some that might mean staying away from Wal-mart and television and so on, but not because those things are necessarily evil, but because our hearts are so prone to sinful desires.
It is those sinful desires of the flesh we must stay away from! Some of those things that feed the flesh and feed off the flesh are a desire to argue about words (2 Tim 2:14) participating in irreligious chatter that contradicts Truth and claims to be Christian truth. I would take aim at the teachings of some in the popular evangelical movement who promote the health and wealth false gospel. To spend time arguing over if these people are genuine is not profitable in a spiritual sense. In the flesh, we want to be "right" and we want our important points to be heard on the subject. Instead, preach the truth and do it "in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:10)
" ...preach the Word, be at it in season and out of season. Convict, reprove, urge with complete patience and full teaching." 2 Timothy 4:10 (CCNT)
The charlatans will be revealed for what they are in due time. Combat their deception with nothing but God's truth from the Word.
We are to avoid indulging in youthful desires, in fact, Scripture tells us to flee from them. The desires of youth fool us into thinking that we have a long life left to live and that if we don't grab at all the fun this world has to offer we will really be missing out on something. I hear this all the time from teenagers and young adults who are not ready to live like the Christians they profess to be.
Avoiding youthful lusts translates into keeping ourselves pure from sexual immorality, drunkenness, a love of money, and most of all, a disregard for spiritual things while thinking foolish thoughts like, "I can do that when I am older."
It is in the area of sexual immorality that many fall so hard. Even women have fallen prey to the lusts of the flesh with viewing pornography and participating in sexual perversions that only a few decades ago were really unthinkable on a common every day level. Young women and older women alike have abandoned purity and morality and walked into the deep end of the sewage. I am so sad to say that even women professing Christ are currently struggling with such sins.
The desires of the flesh lead women to be fooled and swayed by their sinful hearts into believing the theology of Oprah and the women on The View and receiving it as truth. Scripture says these women "are always learning and never able to come to a full knowledge of the truth." This means their truth is relative to the situation and there are no absolutes. It is the core of unbelief in the Word of God as Truth and what causes them to resist the gospel and to be intolerant of the Bible in light of their own set of beliefs.
We are to separate ourselves from all of these things! You and I as Christians are called and commanded to live holy lives. We are to live the kind of life that puts Christ on display and brings Him glory and honor, and unless we keep internalizing the Word of God we will be incapable of doing this. We are cleansed from fleshly desires as we obey the truth.
Over and over again we are told to crave the Word of God, it is the lifeblood of our relationship with God. How else will be know the mind of God? It is my daily prayer that I would love more and more those blessed words of the Bible, and that in loving them I would live them in every way possible. Is this your prayer? If so, how much effort are you putting into your stated desire?