Distractions and Focus 5 – Use the World But Not Fully EGP Blog post from October 22, 2012

This is part five of the series on distractions: use the world but not fully. This is the final part in the series, so be sure to check out the other parts.

1 Corinthians 7:29–31 (NASB)

[29] But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; [30] and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; [31] and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

It’s REALLY easy to get addicted to social media, games, sports, or anything really. In and of themselves, none of these things are bad, but they are when they become an addiction, or too high of a priority in our lives. Paul told Titus, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” In his letter to Timothy he wrote, “bodily discipline [i.e., exercise] is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

1 John 2:15–17 (NASB)

[15] Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. [17] The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

While many people interpret this passage to mean that you can’t find any enjoyment in this life, what’s it’s really saying is be careful what you “ingest” in this life (not only substance, but quantity). Make sure that you don’t “leave your first love” for things of this world. Solomon wrote about God, saying, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” Which is to say, that things in this life that God hasn’t forbidden are okay at times, but none of them can take His place. As believers, we must be even more careful about this, because the enemy wants to trap us.

2 Peter 2:18–20 (NLT)

[18] They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With lustful desire as their bait, they lure back into sin those who have just escaped from such wicked living. [19] They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. [20] And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before.

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “be IN the world, but not OF the world.” I want to end this series on distractions with Jesus’ prayer that inspired that phrase.

John 17:14–18 (NASB)

[14] “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [15] “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from° the° evil one. [16] “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [17] “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. [18] “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

John 17:15a Or out of the power of
John 17:15b Or evil

Key verses

Titus 1:15; 1 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:4; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Colossians 3:2–5