Flee the Lusts of the Flesh-Don’t Befriend the World
Our God is jealous. He loved us, bought us, found us, drew us, cleaned us and now lives within us by His Holy Spirit. Have you thought deeply about what it means to have a Jealous God living in you? Have you thought about what would offend someone who loved us so much that He wants us to be utterly loyal to Him?
So what could be the worst place we could find ourselves as believers today?
The answer comes in James, the very first New Testament letter written to Christ's Church—it is getting drawn away from our loyalty to our God, acting like the world by cultivating its desires, and becoming God's enemy.
How can a believer do such a thing? We become an enemy of God when we become friendly with the world.
Listen as James, our Lord’s earthly brother, writes to believers and warns them of this dreadful condition he calls 'friendship with the world’. Open there with me to James 4.
- James 4:1-8 “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 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. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” NKJV
Look closely at verse 4. The wordfriendship only appears here in the New Testament. It is a Greek word that describes love in the sense of a strong emotional attachment.
So think about the implications of this verse with me. God says beware of ‘friendship’ with the world. What is that?
The word friend is a word that means in our English language--1: one attached to another by affection or esteem 2: one that is not hostile toward us, nor us toward them 3: afavored companion4: one to whom we are showing kindly interest and goodwill.
So God says beware of friendship with the world. Using this definition of friendship examine what James has warned us about.
Are you attached to anything that God hates? Do you have affection for something that is utterly opposed to Him? Is the world of the Devil and all of its rebellion and lusts that is hostile towards God—looked upon affectionately by us?
Are God’s enemies our favored companions? Do we show interest and good will towards what God hates?
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