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By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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The Cult of Culture: How to Avoid Pursing Worldly Desires

Watch out for the world. It's after you. It wants you in its cult following, wooing you with pleasures and power, fame and fortune, the nexus of excess. The cult of our culture provides the perfect distraction from what's really important and lures us with empty lusts, beliefs and religions.

It may not seem like an organized cult, but behind the apparent chaos and disorder is an enemy pulling the strings to entangle our mind, body and soul. It's easy to overlook that we are targeted and marketed with endless desires to capture our time, energy and money. The world wants our worship, so we don't worship the One who deserves it.

This cult of culture uses tangible ploys to steal our hearts. To get out of this world, God's men have to acknowledge that we are in a battle of unseen forces. It's a war made of daily, even minute-by-minute, spiritual battles.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm (Eph. 6:12).

Which side are you on? Are you buying the ticket to the cult of culture, or do you want to get out of this world? We need to be aware of the tug-of-war being played right now. On one end is the world, and on the other is God. Guess who's in between being tugged?

God is pulling you with grace, truth and love. He wants you to know you are loved by God Himself and that there is hope, purpose and an eternal plan for you. He wants to be your heavenly Father. He wants to be your friend and refuge. He wants you to be in the world but not of the world.

In John 15:19, Jesus draws a distinct line in the sand, demonstrating the sides that are at odds: If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

You may have come across the phrase "not of this world," perhaps the Christian apparel company (notw.com). But what exactly does it mean that Christians are "not of this world?"

In John 18:36, Jesus says that His kingdom is "not of this world." As His disciples, we are members, or citizens, of His kingdom as it says in Philippians 3:20.

Still, as disciples of Jesus, the world bombs us with millions of messages a minute that can creep into our minds to twist our sense of reality. So, how do God's men get out of this world? Check out these Scriptures:

Transform Spiritually, Don't Conform Culturally

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2).

Manage Your Soul Diligently

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Prov. 4:23).

Focus Intentionally

Forgetting what is behind (the world) and straining toward what is ahead (citizenship in heaven), I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phi. 4:12-14).

Battle Spiritually

Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them (Deut. 11:16).

Worship Passionately

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Rom. 12:1).

Live Purposefully

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col. 3:17).

Lock on to the Heavenly

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2).

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, men's pastor at Saddleback Church, and ChristianMingle advisory board member, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God's men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

For the original article, visit everymanministries.com.

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