Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
To be caught up in worldly things is to be ineffective as a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t serve two masters, though many have tried. The simple truth is that our allegiances can’t be split between the flesh and the Spirit. To live life as a Christian, we have to walk with the Spirit.
If anyone knew about worldly pleasures, it was Paul’s audience in Rome. A church of relatively new believers (Christianity hadn’t been around long!), they were essentially in the capitol of the world. Rome had so many things to offer to distract the Christians from their calling as disciples. They had to choose whether they wanted to live like the Romans (When in Rome…) or life the lives God had in mind for them.
We all have that choice to make. Just because we have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ doesn’t mean we live effective lives. We have to choose each day to listen to God’s voice as He directs us. We have to choose to read His Word so we know more about His nature and His will. We have to take the time to pray so that we can hear from Him and speak to Him. We have to have intentional relationships with others and we have to put aside some of our own desires for the sake of reaching people. All of these choices require us to deny the other things calling out to us.