We have an invisible enemy working behind our visible reality. That visible reality is called the “world” in the Scriptures. This does not refer to the beautiful world that we live in (e.g. the mountains, the sky, the seas, etc.). It refers to the systems and philosophies of the world. We must understand the nature of “this” world as the Bible describes it so that we can understand also why we struggle in taking care of our souls and the souls of others.
Four Realities about the World
- It is the arena where Satan works (Ephesians 6:10-12; 1 John 4:1-3). – Satan is working in the background and we do not see him. He is working through the seven mountains of influence that is part of every culture and society in the world. Behind each one are principalities and powers working incognito through human systems and philosophies that human beings themselves create without being aware that they are being influenced by evil.
- It is the place where we live as aliens and exiles (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11-12). – This world is not our home. We are aliens and exiles here. We are a cultural minority and we do not call the shots. However, just like aliens and exiles in a foreign country, we can still make a difference in this world. But it would be difficult and there will be plenty of struggles. We must accept this reality.
- It is the sphere where we must do ministry (John 17:13-19). – Although we are not of the world, we are in the world. Although we are aliens and exiles, we still have the responsibility to be salt and light in this world. This is our calling and responsibility. We cannot escape it. We must do our best in the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill our ministry.
- It is the battlefield where we must stand (Ephesians 6:13-19). – Regardless of the challenges we face, we cannot give up. Satan will always try to make us doubt the existence of God, our true calling and identity as the image of God, and how we are to live in this world as children of God. He will place obstacles to hinder us. We must put on our full spiritual armor and make our stand.
- Main Idea – “Though we struggle, we can overcome the world by faith.“
- Don’t let the world defeat you. Greater is He (Jesus) who is in you!
- Instead of conforming, start making a difference in your part of the world.
- Why is it important to understand the nature of the “world” in relation to believers?
- How can you overcome your “struggles” in your part of the “world”?
- What would be your next practical steps?