July 16 2021
Today, Friday July 16
Identifying our Enemy
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
These three verses should be memorized by every follower of Jesus Christ. Remember in the previous verse (v.14), “the young men were strong and were able to overcome the evil one because the Word of God was abiding in them….”. Peter warned us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8). John wants to be overcomers and victorious in our daily walk with the Lord!
We must always understand and be alert because we do have an enemy and he has a system of evil to capture us and then enslave us. In this passage he is called, “the evil one” (vs. 13&14). He is a master deceiver and he uses the “world” to get our attention. What is the “world”?
The New Testament word world has at least three different meanings. It sometimes means the physical world, the earth: "God that made the world [our planet] and all things therein" (Acts 17:24). It also means the human world, mankind: "For God so loved the world" (John 3:16). Sometimes these two ideas appear together: "He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world [earth] was made by Him, and the world [mankind] knew Him not" (John 1:10).
But the warning, "Love not the world!" is not about the world of nature or the world of men. We ought to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of the earth God has made, since He "giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. 6:17). And we certainly ought to love people—not only our friends, but even our enemies.
This "world" named here as our enemy is an invisible spiritual system opposed to God and Christ. We use the word world in the sense of system in our daily conversation. "The world of sports" is not a separate planet or continent. It is an organized system, made up of a set of ideas, people, activities, purposes, etc. And "the world of finance" and "the world of politics" are likewise systems of their own. Behind what we see, in sports or finance, is an invisible system that we cannot see; and it is the system that "keeps things going."
"The world," in the Bible, is Satan's system for opposing the work of Christ on earth. It is the very opposite of what is godly (1 John 2:16) and holy and spiritual. "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). Jesus called Satan "the prince of this world" (John 12:31). The devil has an organization of evil spirits (Ephesians 6:11-12) working with him and influencing the affairs of "this world."
Jesus made it very clear that we cannot love God and the world at the same time (Matthew 6:24). James warned us: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
Today, we have a choice to be an “overcomer” by the grace of God and His Word, or we will be overcome by the world! What will your choice be?