Guest blogged by Lindsay Swartz and Melanie Coppenger
Imagine over 6,000 women all gathered together with hearts hungry to know God, His Word, and what He says about living as a woman in the 21st century. It can only happen by God’s miraculous work in those hearts by His Spirit, but it is exactly what He has done in bringing women from all over to True Woman ’10.
In the first session, we had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Crawford Loritts. Dr. Loritts is the Senior Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia.
With a heavy heart, Pastor Loritts’ preaching focused on the question, “What in the World Do You Want?” Using 1 John 2:15-17,
he pointed out how the world has affected us as Christians, especially women. The reality is, we have been deeply influenced and lured away from a pure love for God. According to his church’s Women’s Director, the top five issues women struggle with today are keeping up with the Jones’, “What about me?” syndrome, Feelings of inadequacy, being people pleasers, and respect and support for our husbands. All of these issues reveal that our hearts are loving anything and everything but Christ and the Truth of the Gospel.
However, Christ is clear in John 17 that His will is for us to be in the world, but not of it. So, Pastor Loritts sought to answer the question, “How should we relate to the world around us?” He gave three helpful points found in 1 John 2:15-17; do not love the world, see the world for what it is, and live our allegiance.
First, he admonished us not to give the world the same kind of unconditional, uncommon, supernatural love that God deserves and belongs only to him. We shouldn’t look to the world for or expect from the world the lasting contentment and acceptance that only God can give.
Pastor Loritts powerfully and persuasively called us to avoid the “it’s all about me” mentality. We see this in the text as John points out that we often do what we feel (desires of the flesh), want what we see (desires of the eyes), and worship what we get (pride in possessions). Pastor Loritts pointed out that Christ was the only one who withstood temptation in these areas and refused to pervert the love and worship reserved for our Heavenly Father.
In order to live our allegiance, Pastor Loritts urged us to ask ourselves, “What are we really living for?” He pointed out the contrast between the world, which is passing away, and doing God’s will in verse 17. He urged us to ask ourselves if we are living for the momentary, fleeting pleasures of sin that will get us nowhere, or are we looking to the Father to define how we will live as women in this world?
Finally, Pastor Loritts gave us three pointed questions that the text begs us to ask in the battle to overcome worldliness. He defined worldliness as “anything in our life that causes us to lose the enjoyment of the Father’s love or our desire to do the Father’s will.” The first addresses our motives and asks, “Why do I want this?” The second question reveals what we are worshiping by asking, “Does what I want consume, control, or change me?’ The third is a question of purity that asks, “Am I clean?”
Pastor Loritts preached a timely message that women in the Church must hear and apply for the sake of God’s glory, healthy homes and churches, and our witness in the world. We are called to be salt and light, yet are constantly in danger of letting our guard down, being deceived by our cunning Enemy, and being led astray in our thoughts from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3). I think, for whatever reason, ladies are particularly prone to this kind of deception. And, it all starts with our hearts. We must regularly examine our hearts to see if they truly are devoted to Christ as our first love, or if they have been enticed into loving the things of the world. Only one Way will never pass away. Christ is that Way. I pray God makes us a generation who says, “choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
I’m so grateful for this message by Dr. Loritts. It provided a great start to a great conference.