It all boils down to idolatry. Is there anything to which we turn before we turn to Jesus? Is there anything that we love more than being in right-standing with Him? Idols trigger an emotion in us; maybe we ought to investigate why. We may (will) not like what we find.
John has the solution and gives it before his last statement. Let’s read:
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to [in willful] sin; the One who was born of God [Jesus in us] keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God [and our citizenship is in heaven], and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one [Satan]. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come [to us] and has given us understanding, so that we may know him [experientially and intimately] who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ [and He in us]. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
The secret to getting rid of idols in our lives is simple, but not easy. It requires getting the right mindset every morning and renewing it throughout the day.
- We get up in time to spend some time washing our brains with the Word. We orient our attitude of who we will please today to be HIM. It’s micro-repentance. It’s easier, safer, and much more pleasant to make minor course adjustments often than having to major course adjustments occasionally.
- We adjust our schedule to include eating right and drinking enough water. Our brains work better when given the right fuel. Don’t give the devil a foothold.
- Rehearse ahead of time how we will react/respond to certain situations according to Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. (3) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
- Look for ways to share your story today. Even a part of it is useful by the Spirit in a person’s life. Share one aspect of what we have been learning in His Word or how the Spirit prompted in a certain circumstance. Let’s give the Spirit handles to work in other people’s lives.
Knowing that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20) and that Satan has control of this world–for a little while longer, let’s live our lives in constant awareness of our present state. Don’t trust ANYTHING from Hollywood or New York or D.C. Instead, test everything according to the Spirit and the Word of God. Let’s be fanatics for Jesus!
Lord Jesus, I want YOU to be my main concern today. I want YOU to direct my paths. May I make you my ONLY hope and trust today; may I lean not on my own understanding and, instead, learn all I can about Your Word and from Your Word. Lead me, O Holy Spirit, that I may become a drink offering ready to be poured out for You: May I fight the good fight, keep the faith, and finish the race (based on 2 Tim. 4:6). Oh, how I long for Your appearing! In the meantime, keep transforming me into You so that others may see You when they see me. Amen.