Being in the World but Not of it

We as people who have been purchased by Christ’s blood, and follow after His commandments to bear fruit – are to be a people who make it their practice to not live according to the world and its trappings.  In order for us to live apart from the world, we must learn what it is and make this distinction.


Jesus prayed for all who are His in John 17 and prayed these words:  “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”  He also has explained that when we follow Him, the world will not like us;  “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”  In fact anyone who associates with the world with affection for it, God counts as an enemy!  “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4.


John explains, “Do not love the world or 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, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16.

We must understand that the world is under the governance of the god of this world – who is Satan; 1 John 5:19.  He runs it his way and by his rules.  Anyone who lives according to the world must abide by his way.   Satan’s work is rooted in our lust for pleasure, and gaining esteem through approval of men.  When we have this motivation in us, we allow him to work in us.  God works through His Holy Spirit in us.  His work is rooted in Christ and worship to God and service to Him where we receive His joy, peace and love.  Whatever we give our worship to that is what will be predominant in our lives, Rom 6:16.


Our deeds are what reveals who we believe/worship.  Despite what popular Christianity teaches, our deeds matter to God.  God looks at our works to determine our condition.  “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.Matt 7:17. Jesus is clear in this when He speaks to the Churches in Rev 2 & 3; saying things such as:   “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil”  or in Ephesians; “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Our works will be produced by what drives us.  If we are governed by the Holy Spirit, we will reveal this through our works.  If we are governed by the world what fruit we produce will prove this.


This is where many are misled by thinking the grace of God covers them so they may partake in all what the world offers for they live under grace, but this is not according to what the bible teaches us.  As we read from cover to cover we are continually warned to not walk according to this world for all its dangers it poses to us.  The children of the Exodus are a good picture for us.  Egypt was ‘the world’ and God took the Israelites from their bondage to it, so they may journey to the Promise Land.  You can see that in all the years of their wandering, they struggled with their love for Egypt.  Even though Egypt was cruel to them, they still held affection and lust for it.  God did not let them enter into His rest, because they craved for Egypt and continuously followed after their own lust (and not God).  Egypt, and in our case, the world, always will satisfy immediately and will have an appeal to it and the Promised Land, or Christ and His Kingdom is a hard road that requires our faith over our lusts.  It is a road that requires much from us that we often aren’t willing to give.  Though we have the very presence of God and His direction, provision and successes – it often is ‘not enough’ so we are pulled into the world’s offerings.


Our walk is to be done and found in Christ, which is found in a Kingdom not of this world.  “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Col 3:1-4

This is the journey each and every one of us must make to enter the Promised Land where we receive His Rest which involves learning what it means to live in the Kingdom of God as well as to understand what the world is and who really runs it and to appeal daily to God for His grace as we do.

Revelation talks of what the world is in His eyes and refers it by the name Mystery Babylon; Rev 18 and we can see its tragic end.  Let us be encouraged and motivated to begin taking appropriate measures to remove ourselves from the world.  Not only this but to remove the world that still may remain in our hearts and continue to long for it.  It’s not optional but what God has commanded us!

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18

I am here, on earth. But I pray as it is in heaven For though my body be here, my spirit resides within You, my Lord Jesus Christ. I am pulled daily with the dealings of this earth in all its forms and will determine not to allow it to move me. Deliver me from the evil one I pray, amen.





  1. So true! And what a struggle it often is to convince brethren that God desires holiness (separation from the world). So many live under the false cover of this ‘mis-taken grace’. It is indeed a narrow gate. Most of the Israelites perished in the wilderness. How sobering!

    Liked by 1 person

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