Summary: The following are nine characteristics that indicate if a person is falling into the trap of worldliness (carnality).
9 Traps of this World: 1 John 2:15-16
"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see and the pride of our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world" (I John 2:15-16).
It’s just like the enemy to distract us from our duties and then take advantage of the situation to wreck havoc. This happens to me all the time. Just when I am comfortable in a situation along comes Satan to mix things up. It could be relationships, ministry events, or my marriage. His plan is to distract and attack. If he can’t distract you with something big and noticeable, he will use something small. It doesn’t matter to Satan how he distracts you, as long as you are distracted.
Quote: "Too many people forget that Satan desires to sift us like wheat so he can steal, slaughter, kill, and destroy us, and everything that is good. Worldliness opens the door to all forms of evil in our personal life, relationships, and ministries."
Too many people think that worldliness is something limited to external behavior. Others think worldliness is hanging out with the wrong kinds of people.
Worldliness is a wrong attitude of the heart that indicates a lack of a totally consuming love for the Lord, God.
It is important to remember that the Lord hates sin. God’s wrath is directed toward all forms of the sins of worldliness. Those who fail to commit themselves to the Lord Jesus will not only miss God’s blessings, but experience God’s displeasure. There are many ways that worldliness dilutes, pollutes, and distorts the thinking of billions of Christians.
The following are nine characteristics that indicate if a person is falling into the trap of worldliness (carnality). I’ve heard the argument that Christians can’t fall into the trap of carnality. What do you think? They said, “A carnal Christian is an oxy moron.” Review these traps of carnality and determine whether you are trapped by any of them, or all. Let us focus on loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, so we can avoid any speck of the love of this world and have to suffer the consequences. Be open to letting the Spirit of God help you evaluate, expose, and eradicate any traces of worldliness in your life.
1. Preoccupations with earthly concerns. Americans are busy people. We like to stay active but are tempted to get preoccupied with things that distract us from Christ and His kingdom priorities. These things preoccupy our minds so there is little room left over for what is best. We fill ourselves up with the world and then are too full for spiritual matters. We ought to fill ourselves up with God and then we will be too full to partake of this world. Paul wrote, "Set your thoughts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:1-3).
Illustration: Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leader, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups. Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith (Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76).
2. Pride. Prideful people are setting themselves up for a major disappointment.
The definition of pride is, “an overbearing opinion about oneself, one’s worth, or one’s indispensableness.” Paul wrote to the prideful Corinthians, "If anyone thinks he stand, let him take heed lest he falls.” Peter warns, "God humbles the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5-6). Solomon, in his wisdom and under the guidance of God, wrote, “Pride comes before destruction” (Pov. 16:18). Don’t let pride destroy your relationships and ministries. Ask God to eradicate the pride out of your life. Pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would humble you in all aspects.
3. Pleasures. Too often human desires incline our hearts toward things that will please our old sinful nature instead of God. Paul wrote, "The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6-8). In Philippians Paul taked about keeping our eyes on the prize and never looking back. I think what he was saying is this: Think of a track runner. If they turn there head even just a tiny bit, to check where their opponents are, the wind hitting their face will slow them down. They ought to keep their eyes on the prize, always reaching ahead. I must say that in our lives it is the same. When we focus on things other than our prize, it will slow us down in getting to the prize that counts. We must not look back and focus on things that will please our sinful nature. It is good for us to glance in the rearview mirror though, to see how God has delivered us in the past from our sinful lusts.