“Love not the world, nor the things of the world; if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
By this reading, many Christians do not love the Father, for they love the world and the things of the world; indeed, in many Christian circles, a superabundance of worldly things is seen as a mark of God’s favour!
Man has survived many tyrannies in his time on earth; we can look back to the 20th century and see the tyrannical, murderous regimes that oppressed and persecuted all people, including God’s people; but nothing has exercised a more cruel tyranny over man than the things of this world; visible things, audible things, tangible things, material things.
The rulership of things has brought man down from where he was made to dwell – in the heavenly realms and the company of angels and the God who made them all – to seek comfort in this world surrounded by the dross of “things”. How awful! Man is like a wild eagle made to soar in the high places, now brought down to scratch around in the barnyard like a chook.
The devil knows his stuff all right; that is why he keeps us pre-occupied with the things of this world, so that we don’t have time to spend thinking and meditating on the world for which we were made. For if we did, if we really got alone with God, we would soon come to realize that this world means nothing to us in the deepest part of our spirit – our “I am”. Given the opportunity to become intimate with God, we will know with certainty that our life in this world is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end. The most that can be said for it is that it is the end of the beginning.
The only way to resist and survive the gravitational pull and drag of the things of this world is to have a conscious union with Christ; a union that must be felt and experienced, a union of the soul with the Saviour, a union of the believer’s heart with Jesus; not a theological union, but a union that is felt and experienced and known. Part of the fruit of such a union will be a disdain for the things of this world.