Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In our world there is this huge desire to be the greatest. Not just great, but the greatest!!! You will see someone achieve greatness through their personal efforts and the feats are fantastic many times as they overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable, but that is not enough. They want more. The desire to be the richest, most powerful person in the world is seen in those who sacrifice everything and everyone to achieve a false satisfaction. Our world feeds this malady and our insatiable desire for power and fame eats it up. But what is true greatness? In 1 John 4:1-6 the author speaks of true greatness. And it is the opposite of what the world tells us about greatness. 1 John 4:Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
You will read the first part of this chapter and note that it talks specifically about testing the spirits. There is a spirit of the world and God’s Spirit. They are not the same by the way. Our world continues to mock the Spirit of God in so many ways and doesn’t acknowledge the Bible as truth. Should we be surprised? No! This is our lot as believers in Jesus Christ and we follow a different way than what the world offers. Peter said in 1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. Yes, we do face opposition from those who represent a worldly way of living, but we do not faint and fall away from our basic convictions that are based on the Word of God. We stand strong.
Having this different way of thinking than the world is constantly attacked by a very powerful worldly way of approaching life about greatness. The world continues to push it’s teaching of what greatness is, aa well as many other basic truths. The area of greatness a taught by the world is one of those areas that is fueled by our basic desire to have worth in the eyes of others and in our own eyes. When following the worldly way of thinking the words of Jesus speak clearly on the subject in Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen, These words cause great problems for the believer and the non-believer. For the believer it is a call to reject the prevalent way of life that is in everything you see and hear. For the non-believer it is a lifestyle they cannot even relate to at it’s very core.
John calls the worldly way of thinking a spirit of the antichrist, of which we have heard is coming, and now is already in the world. So, this way of thinking is against Christ and believers. But yet we buy into it in our lives? Seems crazy to me, but I still do it. I need to adhere to verse 4 in said scripture where it says 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. I’m from Missouri and I can tell you that is just “plain english” there. If we can’t understand that our reasoning is clouded and the worldly way of thinking is way to deep in our lives. So how do we live in this upside down world? We live like Jesus and that’s it. There is no power we have to change minds or hearts, but there is plenty of life-changing power in the Holy Spirit and that is where our strength lives. Verse 4 is a very well quoted verse, but it is very true. because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. So we should not just quote it, but believe it and God will do the rest.
This whole worldly way of thinking is not going to get better. It will intensify until Jesus comes back for us and our stance on living for Christ will need to be strong and sure. Just know that the true greatness of God will be seen when we hold to the truth that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). You will be a constant encouragement to other believers and a constant hope for those seeking salvation if you will hold fast the truth inside you. You will also know true greatness in the face of a very powerful, worldly view about life. You will be Greatest Personified. Which means the Holy Spirit is in you and you have come to life….REAL LIFE!!
The Pilgrimage continues….