Summary: How to determine the will of God for your life.

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“Worldliness and God’s Will”

1 John 2:15-17

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

I. The Worldliness in Focus

a. It’s Definition

Definition of Worldliness: Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life.

Worldliness is not just about reading certain magazines of people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and but secretly wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguise. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the some of the ways in which we evidence a love for the world.

Too many people think that worldliness is something limited to external behavior. 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 and worldliness is 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, distracts and distorts our thinking.

b. It’s Disclosure

Worldliness reveals that we do not love God as we ought. This is what John says in verse 15. If we love the world, “…the love of the Father is not in him.” As a matter of fact, it is impossible to do both at the same time. You cannot love the world and God.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

c. It’s Distraction

Worldliness keeps us from our duty. It is a distraction that often has serious consequences.

Ill: That evening, the assassin John Wilkes Booth stopped in a saloon near the Ford Theatre and used alcohol to nerve himself for what was to be his date with history. One drink, two drinks, three drinks and on…

Later that night Lincoln’s bodyguard John F. Parker was distracted while the president and party were comfortably enjoying the performance of “Our American Cousin” in the Ford Theatre. Charles Forbes (Lincoln’s footman) and Francis P. Burke (Lincoln’s coachman) left the Ford theatre with Parker for a drink at presumably the same saloon as John Wilkes Booth had just left. While Parker was distracted in the saloon the door to the presidential box was left unguarded. John Wilkes Booth went on the attack and slipped into the presidential box during the performance and shot Lincoln.

Those two saloon visits just could be the most costly drinks in American history!

It’s just like the enemy to distract us from our duties and then take advantage of the situation.

d. It’s Debilitation

When God speaks we have the option of doing one of two things. We can hear and heed his voice or we can reject his voice and rebel against His will. There are consequences for both decisions!


Erwin McManus, a pastor in Los Angeles, tells a great story about recognizing God's voice.

My son, Aaron, was five or six when he began asking me, "What does God's voice sound like?" I didn't know how to answer.

A few years later, Aaron went off to his first junior high camp. In the middle of the week, I went up with another pastor at Mosaic to see our kids. Aaron, I learned, had started to assault another kid but had been held back by his friends. He was unrepentant, wanted to leave camp, pulled together his stuff, and shoved it into the car.

I asked him for a last talk with me before we drove away. We sat on two large rocks in the middle of the woods. "Aaron," I asked, "is there any voice inside you telling you what you should do?"

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