Apostle Don Meares
Do Not Love the World
“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. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” –1 John 2:15-16
In this passage, when the writer talks about loving the world, he’s not talking about going to certain places, wearing certain clothes, or other things we were raised to call “worldly.” The author of this text goes much deeper than this. He is saying that if you love the world, you cannot have the love of God. It’s not so much about things but about attitudes. It’s about our affection or affinity. Our love for something or someone becomes like an umbilical cord that attaches us to the world. The writer of this passage admonishes us to watch our attitude about worldly things. We are led to look at how much of our heart is given over to these worldly things.
Samson’s story (Judges 16) is an example that can help us understand. Samson never really failed God until he gave his heart to Delilah. He didn’t lose his anointing over his sin, but when he got with Delilah, the Scripture says he loved her and told her all of his heart. Like what happened to Samson, whatever your heart is attached to can sap your strength. This is why we shouldn’t love the world or the things that are in the world. All that’s in the world, God considers evil.
The complexities of sin
God summarizes all of the complexities of sin in three points.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” –Hebrews 4:15
This verse teaches that God can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. We need somebody that can be touched by our issues and by our problems. We live in a world where people don’t care about our feelings, yet we have a God who will catch our tears in a vial. We have a God who preserves them. We have a God who’s concerned about our issues, problems, moanings, and groanings. We have a God who not only loves us but cares for us.
During His time here on earth, Jesus was tempted, but in all points, He did not sin. Many Christians judge sin by its specificity. We have a standard of sin; but in the sight of God, it is never broken down into specificities. The details do not matter to God. It only matters to people.
God says that through the passage in 1 John 2:15-16 that there are only three things that are of the world: lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life. It does not make any difference what your flesh lusts for, lust is lust. As humans, we get into the details. But God deals with points. Man always looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
The only thing that the devil can do to you is to throw three things at you. He has three weapons. And if you can overcome these three weapons, then no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You can look back at any time in your life and see things you struggled with. You’ll discover it’s either lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, or pride of life. If you can overcome these things, you can win over sin.
If you’re anointed, wait to be appointed.
In Matthew 4, when Satan tempts Jesus, he tempts Him with three tests: lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. When Jesus, the second Adam, appears before people, He has not started His ministry. He is out by the Jordan River with John the Baptist. No one knows Him. He’s just a face in the crowd. At that time, John the Baptist was the voice God’s people listened to.
Yet, in the midst of the masses of people that have come to John, there’s somebody who was getting ready to be raised up by God—Jesus. Just like with some of us. Many people don’t know who we are yet but we are in line for a great thing God will do in our lives. You don’t know the kind of promotions that God is about to give you. Don’t limit God.
But, if you want to get involved in greater ministry, you need to be pointed out. Just like how John the Baptist said that Jesus is the Lamb who came to take away the sin of the world, many of us could be anointed. But you’re not going to start a ministry that will be effective unless you have been pointed out. Even Jesus could not start His ministry until a man pointed Him out. God had to have someone in leadership to point Him out. The same goes for us. We can’t start our ministry unless someone points us out. You might be anointed but you have not been appointed.
When you’re appointed to a position, you have all the power, all the authority, and all the function. You will also have provision when you get the vision. When you’re appointed, you are respected. You do not have to fight for everything you think you need or want.
A series of tests
In Luke 4:1-13, after 40 days of fasting, Satan confronts Jesus with a series of tests. The first one asked Jesus to turn the stones in to bread. This temptation deals with the identity of Christ. Hunger is not wrong, but you can’t satisfy your hunger in any way that you want. The enemy wants Jesus to show off even if it’s not according to God’s will.
The next temptation is when the enemy shows Jesus all the kingdoms of this world, offering to give them to Him if He bows down and worships him. Jesus rebukes him with God’s Word and says He will only worship and serve God alone. What you worship is what you will serve in your life. The enemy tempted Jesus with the lust of the eye. Yet, Jesus was not tempted by what He saw.
The third temptation, when the enemy suggested that Jesus cast Himself off the mountain, pertains to the pride of life. In essence, the enemy is saying if Jesus is truly the Son of God, He needs to show everybody who He is by jumping off the mountain and commanding angels to catch Him. The enemy was tempting Jesus with the pride of life.
But what does this mean? Pride of life is the pressure to perform. It’s the need to impress people. The need to prove to others who you are. It’s the need for human validation. It’s the most dangerous weapon among the three. We must know how to go against it.
Many Christians want to be used by the Lord in highly visible positions. And when they don’t get it, they choose to leave the church. They just want to be seen. This could be the pride of life. It can destroy the church. It can destroy a person. It’s a sign that we’re coming to the end of time. The Bible says “pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).”
So many in the church do what is right in their own eyes. They will no longer take the Bible as their authority. They do what is right in their own eyes. They do what they want. And if they can justify it, they will do it.
More people are getting pressured to perform, to do things for other people, even when no one’s looking. As a result, the pride of life is wrecking marriages, ministries, jobs, and minds. Good people are ruined when they try to show off.
We need the help of Jesus so that we can eliminate the pride of life. We must be sensitive to His leading so we can be victorious against the enemy’s weapons. Before we can reign with Jesus, we must be humble before He appoints us to a higher calling. We must keep this humility so that we can remain aligned with His Word, to His Spirit.