Well we are at the halfway point this week so let’s remain faithful as we dive back into James 4.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James starts this verse by address the people as “adulterous people”. “The people of God in the OT are considered the wife of the Lord (Jer. 31:32), and in the NT, the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-23). It is reasonable, therefore, to understand “adulteress” intended to jar the reader and awaken him to his true spiritual condition.”1 As we read this passage, we too, are to be jarred and made to really look at our own spiritual condition. When you look at your life, is it more in line with the ways of the world or the ways of God? What areas in your life do you struggle to follow the Lord versus the world?
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
God loves us so much He chose us out of the world to be His people. As His people we are to be like Him and reflect Him to the world. In order to do that, we must follow His ways rather than the ways of the world. We must value the things He values rather than the things of the world. Things in God’s economy are so different that the things in the world’s economy. The world values independence where the Lord values dependence upon Him. The world defines success by money and stuff; God defines success by giving to others. The world values a high position at work; God values being a servant. The world values self-confidence and a strong personality; God values humility. The world tells us to fight to be number one; God says the last shall be first.
When you look at those few comparison’s between what the world values and what God values, which value system do you align yourself with the most? I think it is easy to give the pat answer of saying we align ourselves with the things God values, but do we really? Is that what is apparent by the way you live your life? Do you have so much stuff that you are running out of places to put it and may even need an extra storage unit to hold all of it or do you live more modestly so you can give more to those in need? Do you have to do everything yourself in order to have it done correctly or do you seek help from others and the Lord? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead at work and bend a rule or two here and there or are you a living example of Christ in your workplace? Would others use the word humble to describe you? Do you cut people off when you are driving or speed to get where you are going faster?
I have asked a lot of tough questions today, ones I am not sure I will like my own answers to but that is what this boot camp is all about – taking a good look at our spiritual lives and seeing how they align with the lives God wants us to live. Are there areas in your life where you need to make some changes so the things you value are the things God values? Spend some time in prayer with the Lord over all of these questions and be brave enough to sit silently before Him and hear what He has to say. He loves us so much and only wants what is best for us – He wants us to live the lives He created us to live.
- All Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com
- Quote from “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary”, Vol. 12, Zondervan