“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
-1 John 2: 15-17
We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. God has created us and placed inside of us hopes, dreams and goals. It’s exciting to have a plan in front of us. The world tells us to move forward, do what’s best for us and acquire our plans and goals for ourselves. All our goals and dreams should revolve around one thing: Jesus. Everything we do, achieve, desire, work for – should be for the greater good of God’s Kingdom! We can’t hide our intentions from God, he knows our hearts. In Proverbs 16: 1-3 it reads, “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” In my study Bible it asks three questions about your plans/goals/dreams/desires: Is this plan in harmony with God’s truth? Will it work under real-life conditions? Is my attitude pleasing to God? These are all great things to keep in mind when pursuing the plans God has for you. Remember years ago when the Jabez prayer hit our Christian community? I often find myself going back to this prayer when faced with a new goal or plan. 1 Chronicles 4:10, “Jabez cried out to the God of Isreal, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” Let’s break this prayer down. Oh that you would bless me – I often ask for God to bless me so that I can bless Him! And enlarge my territory – When I ask God to enlarge my territory I ask that He would expand the number of people that I can reach for Him. That He would open doors for me to do His work. Let your hand be with me – When I am doing God’s work, if He is not walking alongside me, then I am doing it all in vain. So I ask Him to guide me and direct my footsteps so that I stay in His will. And keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. It is so easy to fall into the trap of sin. Satan doesn’t like it when we are working for God, so I always want to be on guard and ask that God would keep me safe from sinful attitudes, thoughts and actions. In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.
Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, guide me as I make plans and goals for my life. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things as I work at keeping in step with your will for my life. Amen.