S72P6 – A friend of God: no friend of the world

Jam. 4:4

You adulteresses! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Before becoming a Christian, I had stepped foot in a number of churches for weddings and other events.  When I think of those experiences I can recall feeling something very specific each of those times.  Being inside a church made me feel extremely out of place.  My worldly mind attributed this to the judgement of the “holy people” and my own insecurities.  However, there is a very logical and spiritually accurate reason why I felt the way I did in the house of God.  In those times, I was not a friend of his.  The world was my best friend, and that was evident to anyone who knew me.  Not only was I an enemy of God’s, but also I was an enemy of those He calls friends.  Being in his presence and in theirs unnerved me because I could tell I was different.

Friendship with the world is about conformity.  Those who are friends with it follow its rules and its culture.  We are not talking about the cultures of the different people groups around us.  We are talking about a culture of sinfulness.  Friendship with the world is not compatible with friendship with God because that would require us to be two different kinds of people at once.  God has absolutely nothing in common with the world; there is no common ground between the two.  One who loves the world loves everything that God hates and nothing that He is, and we cannot love and hate our master at the same time.  We serve a jealous God who refuses to share us with the world, and that is why friendship with wickedness destroys our friendship with his holiness.

It should be no surprise that Jesus instructs us to love our enemies.  The world is not our friend, yet we are trying to reach the world for the cause of Christ.  If we want to have compassion on those in the world, we must love them first.  We recognize that they are not our friends, but we also recognize that they are worthy of our effort.  We love them and share the truth with them, but we must be clear about the lines we draw.  We do not conform to the world, and we do not live as those who live according to its standards.  We should recognize that we are among our enemies yet work with the hope that we one day can call them friends.  Father, help us to focus on our friendship with You, and show us where we have become too close to the world.