Worldliness: An Easy Snare

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
What a terribly grasping spirit there is abroad today! Even many true believers seem greatly affected by it.
Much light has been given as to the heavenly calling of saints, which, if received aright, would set us, in spirit, outside the current of things here, waiting for an absent Lord.
It has been remarked that early Christians sold their houses and lands and gave evidence of their unworldliness and devotedness to the Lord, while there is now a tendency to add lands and houses, just like the world around us.
Surely the effect of this must be felt. It must dry up the very springs of spiritual life, hinder communion, and thus rob the soul of the true enjoyment of its heavenly portion.
Abraham with his tent and altar has often been spoken of as an example of a heavenly man, while Lot is seen as one of another sort-one exactly opposite.
There can be no question of Lot's conversion. The Apostle Peter speaks of him as "just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds:)." This was in the midst of Sodom, where he had made his home.
Lot is a sample of a saint who, knowing the truth, gives the practical denial to it in his ways. The well-watered plains of Jordan attracted his eye, and his feet soon followed. But he suffered greatly in his soul, in consequence, all his earthly days, and lost everything in the fire of Sodom at last. Besides, he was no testimony for the Lord. Unlike his uncle Abraham, he did not walk as a pilgrim and stranger here, and when the angels came down to give warning of God's judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and he went and warned his sons-in-law, he seemed to them as one that mocked.
It has been remarked by others that Abraham never laid a foundation. He did not fix his roots here. He had his tent; but a tent is a movable thing, and the very opposite of that which is stable or permanent. This gave character to him, while his altar indicated the state of his heart. He would not lay a foundation here, because "he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Heb. 11:1010For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10). He was truly living in the power of the world to come. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." 1 Pet. 2:1111Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (1 Peter 2:11).
It is admitted that God may give more of this world's goods to one than another in His all-wise government. But God's giving prosperity is one thing, and the burning desire to possess it is quite another. Timothy is exhorted as a man of God to "FLEE these things," and to occupy himself with a different order of things altogether-and for a good reason, for some had coveted after them and had pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But suppose God does give prosperity in earthly things, is it that we may lavish it upon ourselves? Is it that we should surround ourselves with what gratifies our natural tastes? Is it that we should be exalted in our minds above others? Surely not. Is it not rather that we should use it for His glory? Is it not that we should minister to the need of others, and to help spread abroad the sweet savor of the name of Christ?
The life of Christ was a life of self-surrender in all His pathway. He made Himself of no reputation. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. Has He not left us an example that we should follow His steps?
"Judge in thyself, O Christian! is it meet
To set thine heart on what beasts set their feet?
'Tis no hyperbole, if you be told,
You delve for dross with mattocks made of gold.
Affections are too costly to bestow
Upon the fair-faced nothings here below.
The eagle scorns to come down from on high,
The proverb saith, to pounce a silly fly;
And can a Christian leave the face of God
To embrace the earth and dote upon a clod?"
You cannot with the Lord. Valuable.
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