Not too long ago, I was on facebook and saw a picture like this in my news feed. Like if you love Jesus and keep scrolling if you love Satan… Other than another terrible ploy to guilt Christians into liking another dumb picture, as I read my CrossWalk devotions today, this picture came to mind.
Today I read James 4. The book of James has always been challenging to me and my next couple of posts will be on James 4.
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” - James 4:4
James is writing this to believers! He addresses them as adulterers and adulteresses. The Jewish audience of the book of James would have understood these words loud and clear. Many times the nation of Israel was compared to an unfaithful prostitute. In this case, James is addressing believers that are trying to ride the fence. He is making a radical statement. James says, “if you like the world, you are an enemy of God!” OR if you want to put it in today’s facebook lingo. If you love God, Like and share, but if you love the world keep scrolling.
Just as the person who first posted the picture above on facebook tried to paint his readers into a corner, thus trying to guilt Christians to press the like button, so James makes it very clear that there is no middle ground on this issue. If you love the world, you are an enemy of God. The reverse is also true: If you love God, the world will be an enemy to you.
Recently in Sunday School, we have been going through the book of Ephesians. When Paul described gentiles, he described them as aliens from the life of God. My wife made a very enlightening observation that I had never thought of before, but it is dead on. As Christians, we are to be alienated from the world as we now can enjoy the blessings of from the life of God.
In my own experience, I have often lived my life with the “line in the sand” mentality.
That is, in the “grey areas of life,” I would draw a line in the sand and say, “I will go no further than this line in my life. I may tip toe my way down that line, but I will not cross it! I will flirt with it as much as possible, but I will never go ‘too far.’ I may even redraw the line or lean over it, but I will never step across my line in the sand!”
Rather than see how close we can get to the world, we ought to remember the painfully true words of James, that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Let’s not live like the world we were saved out of, but rather like the Savior that came to save the world!
What are some grey areas where Christians are drawing lines in the sand and flirting with the world when they should be more focused on how to please God?
Holiness is about being set apart to God. What are some ways you are going to try to step towards God and away from the world?
Is there an area of your life that you are trying to please two masters? Are you riding the fence or flirting with the line in the sand? Take a moment today to ask for the Lord’s help in setting you apart towards Himself and away from the world!
While this topic may seem cut and dry, the practice can be very difficult. How do you strike the proper balance of being in the world but not of the world?
Leave a comment below… if you don’t I will find someone on facebook to guilt you into doing it!