… those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:30-31
It’s a common theme throughout the Bible. The world is not our home. We are only “aliens and strangers” (Hebrews 11:13). For this reason, Paul doesn’t want us to become engrossed in the things of this world and tells Timothy a similar thing: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life” (2 Timothy 2:4 NKJV).
However some days heaven seems a long way off. We depend heavily on our sense of sight and forget there is a whole other world that’s invisible to us. The devil enjoys lulling us into a false sense of security and slowly we find ourselves getting engrossed in the attractions of this world.
In, The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis we see an amazing picture of the devil’s tricks in this regard. The witch in the story takes the children captive and holds them underground. Time passes and the children’s memories grow dull. The witch tells them it was all a dream and there was never such a place as Narnia (heaven) or such a person as Aslan (Jesus). The children are on the verge of falling for the witch’s lies when Puddlegum deliberately puts his foot in the fire. The pain wakes him up to reality. Sometimes it’s pain that wakes us up to reality. When we grieve the death of a loved one or live with an unresolved tragedy we realize this world isn’t all there is.
Remembering there’s a better world still to come helps us to avoid becoming engrossed and entangled in this one.