There are three spiritual enemies for every believer: the devil, the world and the flesh. The devil is constantly using the world and our flesh to tempt us into sinning. Jesus talked about the dangers of the world and the flesh to respond to the question of the disciples on who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. The question they raised was indicative of the influence of the world and the desire of their flesh.
The world is full of temptations to sin and Jesus declared “woe” to the world. Temptation can come through you and me, it is so easy to become stumbling blocks of others. The world is where we live in, with its customs, cultures, ways of thinking and value systems. It is not a place but a worldly system that has not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The people and culture around us can lead us into temptations and we have to be careful about what is in the world.
Our flesh is the other enemy that collaborates with our enemy, the devil. We have bodily and other needs and our flesh makes constant demands for us to satisfy them. Every demand is for the self to be satisfied but when we yield to our flesh, we may violate the laws and commandments of God. The genesis of all kinds of sin is rebelling against God’s will in self-satisfaction. We have to curb the activities of our flesh and say no to it in order to not sin. Jesus teaches us to cut off and throw away the parts of our body that causes us to sin. It is better to enter life without those members rather to have them and be thrown into the hell of fire.
The world and the flesh also collaborate with one another, our contact with the world often times arouses in us a need, a want or a desire. The power of suggestion is so strong that we often yield to fleshly demands. Many of us end up buying things that we do not need as we stroll around department stores. Commercials on television keep on telling us that we need this or we need that. We must stop the world from getting into our lives and we must think differently from the people around us.
To become a child of God, we have entered God’s family. In His family, there is a different set of values and way of thinking and doing things. The God culture needs to replace the popular culture, our worldview must be different from the popular worldviews. Most of the time, the two cultures clash. The world has a hierarchy of power and authority, those on top rule over others. It is everyone’s priority to get to the top and be successful. Children, the little ones or the weak ones are despised but the successful and proud persons are revered. Jesus gave the disciples an object lesson by calling to Him a child to demonstrate the value of His Kingdom. Are you aware of the influence of the world in your daily life?
Ps 17:6-9 Exo 4:1-5:21 Matt 18:1-22 Prov 5:15-21