Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friend or Foe?

During our ladies morning Bible study this morning we came upon a strong verse that brought up a lot of great discussion. James 4:4 says "Ye adulterers and adulteresses know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God".
The New International version states it this way: "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

James wrote his book to the church. Christians. God's people. Us! He knew that we would be tempted and that sometimes we would be unfaithful to God. He starts out this verse by calling us 'adulterers'! That's pretty strong but true. Throughout the Word the church is called the 'Bride of Christ' and as such we should have eyes only for Him, but when our eyes stray to the things of the world we are actually being unfaithful to our relationship with the Lord.
Many Christians walk the line between the world and God. They play with fire thinking that they won't get burned. But one commentator goes so far as to call our "conformity to and compliance with the sinful manners and customs of the world, are declarations of war with God and acts of hostility towards Him." So many Believers are afraid to take a stand when issues that compromise their walk with the Lord, arise. In their desire not to be viewed as narrow minded many Christians either fail to take a stand or wind up living in the same manner as their worldly neighbours.
Our God is a jealous god. We are commanded in the Ten Commandments to have no other gods before Him. Just as we would never cheat on our husband we need to take our relationship with God even more seriously and not 'step out' on Him. We declare war on God and His ways every time we turn a blind eye to sinful behaviour. We cause God grief every time we do the things the world does, things that are not pleasing to Him. Whether it is gossiping or jealousy or whatever we do that the Word is very clear is not for the Christian to be doing, we are showing a hatred towards God and His ways. We are cheating on God.
Are you God's friend or His enemy? Do you follow Him and have eyes only for Him or do your eyes stray and your heart long to do sinful things? Are you a friend or foe? James is very clear in his book that friendship with the world is hatred towards God. He gives us warning that this can happen so we need to guard against it. If you aren't sure if you are being friendly with the world take a look at how different the world's standards are from God's standards. Read His Word and see what He has to say about current issues that we are being bombarded with on a daily basis. Make sure your opinions line up with His opinion. I will give you warning though your opinion will not be welcomed if it is different than the world's. Unfortunately, just like in James' time, some of the church today has fallen into the trap of doing things the world's way and accepting the world's standards.
If we want to be God's friend instead of being His enemy we need to line our thinking up with His Word. We need to dare to take a stand on issues that are not pleasing to God and live lives that are pleasing to Him. I want to be a friend of God. I want Him to be pleased with me. I want Him to know that I am not His enemy. That I love Him and don't hate Him. I want to do things His way even though it will be unpopular. Ask yourself today "Am I showing God love or hatred? Am I His friend or foe?"

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