The Voice of the World
Are you frustrated with your life? Ashamed of what you haven’t accomplished? The voice of the world is constantly telling you what your values should be, what can make you happy, and why you don’t measure up. But is there a better way?
Last week, part one of this series introduced the four voices in your head that are competing to shape what you do, say, and feel. Part two focuses on the voice of the world.
By Patrick Morley
MIM Founder & Executive Chairman
Winter Park, Florida
The underlying message of the world’s voice today, blared through an onslaught of round-the-clock news, entertainment, and social media, is that it knows what will make you feel happy and satisfied.
But may I ask, has listening to the world’s voice ever produced any lasting peace, happiness, or contentment for you? Rather, doesn’t it tap into your worst insecurities and leave you feeling discontent?
No doubt that’s why Paul warns us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.”
While the specific struggles in “the pattern of this world” are always changing, what doesn’t change is the ever-present brokenness in this world because of the fall.
How, then, does the world—in its brokenness—have such influence over us?
The Sound of the Voice of the WorldThe fallen world woos us with the combined voice of all the philosophies, beliefs, and worldviews that have evolved over the centuries that encourage people to do what seems right in their own eyes and put self at the center.Click To Tweet
The fallen world woos us with the combined voice of all the philosophies, beliefs, and worldviews that have evolved over the centuries that encourage people to do what seems right in their own eyes.
That’s why Colossians 2:8 cautions: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
If you are taken “captive,” that means you’re a prisoner, enslaved by your captor. Our minds will be taken captive by the “hollow and deceptive” forces if we can’t recognize the sound of the world’s voice.
Any worldview that “suppresses the truth” about God is part of the pattern of this world (see Romans 1:18-19).
That includes any philosophy or belief system that puts self at the center, whether you call it materialism, hedonism, secularism, nihilism, narcissism, self-help, or the prosperity gospel.
The world is constantly sending you messages about what can make you happy, what your values should be, and what should be important to you. In the book The Four Voices, the goal is to equip you to recognize and conquer the world’s ubiquitous and deceptive voice.
For now, let’s look at how Jesus’ message compares to the world’s message.
In Matthew 16:24-26, He told His disciples:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”
This world will make you a lot of promises on the peace and contentment it can deliver, but it will never make good on them. That’s because your soul is created in such a way that even if you get everything you want in this world, you will still never be truly happy apart from God.
How has the world wormed its way into you head? Be honest with yourself.
From time to time, we all feel like we’re stuck in the world’s destructive patterns of thinking. But as loud as the voice of the world can be, you can take back control of the narrative.
How to Get the World Out of Your Head
While the world calls us to conform to its values, God calls us to be transformed by renewing our minds:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2, emphasis added)
The Four Voices explores seven tools to get the world’s voice out of your head, but for this article let’s focus on one of them. It’s the foolproof way to renew our minds outlined in the Bible—
We are to delight in God’s word and meditate on it continually throughout our waking hours:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Anytime you feel confused about the messages coming from the world or uncertain about what to do, the single most important question to ask is, “Has God already spoken on this matter?”
It’s a sure bet that He has.
You are incredibly vulnerable to being taken captive by the voice of the world if you don’t currently have time in your schedule dedicated to studying the Bible.
Commit to a schedule this week that allows you to spend time in God’s word every day. Sound overwhelming? Anything is better than nothing—so start with five minutes a day. You can increase as you feel led.
The word of God is your single best tool to “test and approve what God’s will is.” Nothing in this world comes even remotely close to releasing the power of God to transform you and change your life.
THE BIG IDEA: This world will make you a lot of promises on the peace and contentment it can deliver, but it will never make good on them. God created your soul to find lasting happiness only in Him.
Next week in this series, we will explore the voice of the flesh.
Question of the Week
The voice of the fallen world tries to get inside your head by luring you to want and worry about (or dismiss) many things.
What “hollow and deceptive philosophy” or “pattern of this world” is trying to take you captive right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below.