Friday, January 25, 2013
Friendship with the World
James 4:1-5 (ESV)
Somehow many believers do not realize when they are acting as if they have never met Christ. They fight and are filled with the same passions that the non-believer has but do not recognize it in themselves. James calls them adulterous. They have committed themselves to God but are playing around with the devil.
I have always wondered why a prayer meeting is the hardest thing to get people to attend. Why would anyone want to attend something that yielded nothing? This is exactly the sentiment of those who are worldly. They have said prayers but they have not received so they cannot see the power of prayer. It becomes something to begin and end meetings with.
Friendship with the world seems so benign but James makes it equivalent to becoming God's enemy. It is clear that friendship with the world is opposed to the will of God for our lives. It leads us to expressing what we want rather than what God wants. It changes our prayer lives. I changes the desires for our future. It changes our focus. It takes God from the central part of our lives and places Him in His own little corner. Thus, we can tip our hats to Him when we must but still do as we please.
Friendship with the world seems benign because it is so natural. We all live in the world. It makes sense to make our homes here and work hard to make our lives as comfortable as possible in this world. It is so natural that we might fail to realize that we have made friends with the world.
There is no true communication between those who are friends with the world and the Spirit. God jealously desires this communion of communication. He wants us to know Him in such a way that we can tell when we have wandered from Him. He wants us to desire Him. He has placed our spirits within us for this very purpose. This is why people know there is something missing in their lives but may not know what it is.
Friendship with the world seems benign because it is necessary to feed yourself and even allow your self entertainment or even have ambitions in your job. These things are not wrong in themselves but they are always near to becoming friends with the world. Too many church dinners have resulted in gluttony. The desire of the flesh overwhelmed the desire of the Spirit. Too many times righteous indignation has turned into unrighteous revenge. It takes more than simply starting with the Spirit.
Some of this makes me fearful. How many times have I become the friend of the world and never noticed it? How many times did I step over the line between something that the Spirit endorsed to something the Spirit deplored?
I better make sure I am listening to the Spirit.