VOW: Who’s Your Friend?

Verse of the Week

“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 NKJV

I am going to make a radical assumption here. I assume that if you are reading this you do not hate God. I could be wrong, but I daresay most of you reading this would consider yourself a friend of God or at least friendly toward Him. (Please leave a comment below, if I am terribly off track!)

Where I won’t make an assumption is where you are on the friendship scale with the world. In our crazy mixed up culture today, where political correctness, cancel culture, faith deconstruction, and outright acceptance of sin rule and reign, it can be difficult to take an unfriendly stance with the world. It puts a target on our backs. Add to that the constant pull of the passing pleasures of sin, and we can easily find ourselves rubbing elbows with our fellow earth dwellers in a dangerously friendly fashion. But as James says, if we want to be a friend of the world, we automatically make ourselves the enemy of God.

Yikes!

Look at what James calls Christians who associate with the world as friends—adulterers and adulteresses! Strong accusation, wouldn’t you agree?

When we try to be friends with the world, we are cheating on God. And that cheating says to our Father that we hate Him. We have made Him our enemy. Whether we intended to or not.

We probably have no intention of being hostile toward God, or of seeking to injure or overthrow Him, but friendly association with the world and its wicked ways essentially declares war on God!

If the world is accepting of us and friendly toward us, that might be an indicator that we have become too friendly and accepting of their sinful ways. Because if we are living in the world, but not behaving like it, the world will hate us. Look at what Jesus says:

”If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.”
John 15:18-19 MSG

Are you feeling challenged yet? None of us is exempt from the allure and temptations of the world we live in. We must guard our hearts and minds and trust Jesus to keep us.

Live it out this week

FRIEND or FOE?

Spend some time this week examining your friendships. Consider the definitions below to see where your affections lie. Are they with Christ or with the world?

Friend:
1 a) “one attached to another by affection or esteem” b) “acquaintance”
2 a) “one that is not hostile” b) “one that is of the same nation, party, or group”
3 “one that favors or promotes something”
4 “a favored companion”
(Merriam-Webster)

Friendship:
from Greek philia “involves ‘the idea of loving as well as being loved’”
(Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Enmity:
“Hostility; Hatred.” (King James Dictionary)
“…the opposite of agape, ‘love.’” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
“Deep-seated hatred that seeks to oppose, harm, or defeat another.” (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition.)

Enemy:
“One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes another; a foe. One who opposes or is hostile to an idea or cause:” (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition.)
“One that is antagonistic to another especially one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent” (Merriam-Webster)

Remember that we are seeking to walk the narrow road that leads to life in Christ and not the broad road that friendship with the world will lead us down.

Read James 4 and John 15. Meditate on these.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us not to fall prey to the allure of the world. Lord Jesus, thank You for calling us Your friends. Help us daily to obey Your commands. Holy Spirit nudge us away from wrong friendships that could lead us to compromising our walk with God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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Featured Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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