Knowledge is the basis of life. You are only as effective as what you know, and as who you know. Ignorance is frowned at, you get taken advantaged of. You are only of benefit to others to the limit of what you are able to offer in knowledge.
Knowing God is the highest level of knowledge, it gives you spiritual leverage. Paul said that in understanding we should be men, and knowledge is the foundation of understanding (1Corinthians 14:20). Jesus said knowledge is the basis of freedom. He said if we continue in his word we shall know the truth and the truth will make us free (John 8:30-32). And in his word is encapsulated his will.
What you know determine the contribution you can make, the benefit you can bring to others. With knowledge, you get to be a solution and not a problem. Knowledge increases what you can accomplish. Before you can know God, which, as said above, is the highest level of knowledge, requires that we seek him with all your heart.
God said you will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13). It cannot be half-hearted. John puts it this way: love not the world not the things in the world, if you love the world the love of the father is not within you (1John 2:15-17). What you love is what you pursue. John said the things that are in world are lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. Both pride and lusts are expressions of what we pursuit, what we seek, what we want to get, and run counter to the pursuit of God, the pursuit of his knowledge. To love God is to pursue him.
Lust of the eyes
The lust of the eyes brings an emphasis on what is seen. In this case, what is seen with the physical eyes is allowed to control, the spiritual senses are made to keep the backseat, and God is spirit.
Paul prayed for the Ephesians church that the eyes of their understanding be enlightenment so that they may know many things hidden from the natural eyes (Ephesians 1:15-21). To the church in Corinth, he wrote that we have received the Holy Spirit so that we might know the things freely given to us by God (1Corinthians 2:12). And you cannot pursue what you do not see, at least as some level. If the only things you see are physical, then your pursuit will be basically mundane.
When we do not see well in the spirit, we will be tied to the natural world and have no cognisance of the higher world. But Paul said it is important that when it comes to spiritual things we are not ignorant and proceeded to teach the people about the gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-14).
Jesus said that we need to not judge based on what the physical eyes sees but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). If you cannot see in the spirit, if the eyes of your heart is not enlightened, then you cannot know or follow God because God is Spirit. Jesus instructed a Samaritan women and by extension the whole world that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 2:23-24). When the lust of the eyes controls us, we are blinded in the spirit, and can easily be deceived, and distracted from the way of God, from the pursuit of God.
Lust of the flesh
While the lust of the eyes derives its strength from the outside, the lust of the flesh is the enemy within. It is about the drive of the wrong emotions within, something that seeks to drown us from within.
The only solution is for the Spirit to come in us and express strong desire for God. The Holy Spirit in us sheds the love of God abroad there (Romans 5:1-5). That love is passion for God; which will cause us to wade through temptation and persecution and still remain true to God.
Joseph refused to yield to the lust of the flesh when the wife of his master wanted to induce him to commit adultery with her (Genesis 39:9). He said I will not do this and displease God. It was not just the fear of being punished by God, but a love for God that drove him. That is the role of the Holy Spirit in us.
Paul said that we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear but we have received the Spirit of son-ship, the Spirit of adoption and we cry out Abba father, i.e. in connection to God (Romans 8:15). The Holy Spirit gives a connection with God, and that connection controls us in the right direction to make the right decision. The flesh represents connection to the life of sin, but there is a higher life in us generated by the Holy Spirit. It is the eternal life.
The direction the flesh wants to go is to please itself. Paul said he puts his body under (1Corinthians 9:27. The body, therefore. should be regarded as a servant, something you use and not what uses you. We should not go the route of the feeling but of the will of God. We should sacrifice our will, for the will of God. That was the choice Jesus made as he faced the death on the cross. He had to reject his own flesh, reject his own will for the will of God. In a way his will was nailed to the cross to die so that the will of God can rise up from the dead. He exhibited by sacrifice of his will in pursuit of God (Luke 22:42).
Pride of life
Pride of life over-emphasises individuality, while God wants to build a community. It is also about competition, acquisition. Paul advised that we should condescend to men of low estate. He rejects the practice of boasting, asking what do you have that you were not given?
He advocates humility. Peter said that we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand, and he will lift us up in due season (1Peter 5:6). Pride is negative motivation while love is the positive motivation. Pride is a life lived to prove yourself to others, love is a live lived to please God. It means considering others are better than you, reaching out to other with the offer of help, being a blessing.
James said that true religion is to be a blessing to the widow, the orphan (James 1:27). He said that business owners should pay their employees (James 5:1-6). John wrote that it is wrong for you to allow your brother to go hungry, when you can do something about it (1John 3:17). The pursuit of God, therefore. is about humility towards others as we see God in them, and being a blessing to others, which is expressing the generosity of God to them.
- The Great Commission (pumabydesign001.com)
- Holy Spirit ~ (hodgepodge4thesoul.wordpress.com)
- By God’s Spirit (sarasmusings.wordpress.com)
- Sleight of Hand (mtsweat.com)