So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. – James 4:4b ISV
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were instantly given the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we received that Spirit, we become a part of the bride of Chirst and He has so much more that He wants to share with us. God placed Him in our hearts to lead us and to guide us into all truth. The Trinity longs for the time when we will allow the Holy Spirit to do just that. They are jealous of the time we spend focused on worldly things. Just as new lovers and newlyweds want to spend all of their time together, so does God want to spend His time with us. Just as Jesus warned us that we have committed adultery with a woman/man when we allow immoral thoughts to remain in our minds, we commit adultery with the world when we spend time on worldly things. To the extent that those things become more important, take up more of our time and cause us to make comments that hurt other people, we have become friends with the world and enemies of God. We are incapable of serivng two masters.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. — Matt. 6:24 NIV
We could replace the word money in this verse with other words, such as drugs, grandkids, popularity, power, sports, vocations, possessions or you can fill in the blank and the verse would still be just as true. Anything that we put above being obedient to God in any and every respect becomes our idol and we become enemies of God. When we face a choice in what to do or say and we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, we must learn to stop and think. Do I really want to hurt my spouse, my Jesus who died for me? If not, then we need to temper our words and/or actions or completely change them so that they honor and glorify God. We need to remember David’s request:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4:4 NLT
The Greek word (moi-kho’s) that is translated as adulterers has more than just a sexual connotation. It is anyone committing an act of infidelity or unfaithfulness to God. These actions are what depict us as “friends” of the world. If we live a lifestyle that is filled with these kind of actions, then we show by our actions that we are “enemies” of God. Our flesh is constantly warring against the Spirit that God has placed inside us. We need to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit not by our fleshly desires.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.–Gal. 5:16,17 (KJV)
We cannot win the war by ourselves, the flesh is too strong. But God gives us grace and mercy. He is made strong in our weaknesses. If we are faithful to walk “in the Spirit”, God will fight and win every battle for us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. — John 15:15 NLT
Jesus gave His disciples (that includes us) a direct command: Love one another. If we look at our attitudes and lifestyles, it sometimes appears that we think we have a choice in the matter, we don’t! We can’t choose to show love for just one season each year, it is a 24/7/365 proposition. Jesus tells us that, as Christians, we are no longer slaves to our fleshly desires. We are free to make a choice. Jesus chose us and if we respond to that call and choose Him, then we are His friends. If we are His friends then we follow His commands out of our love for Him, not because we are commanded. That love requires us to go and produce fruit with the same power and authority that Jesus used. We have access to that power when we speak the name of Jesus. The question we need to ask ourselves and other Christians is not “How are you doing?”. The question that Jesus would ask and the question we should be asking is this: “Am I being fruitful?”.
John 15:4-8 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. — Eph. 4:30 NCV
Maybe because His name is Holy Spirit we tend not to think of Him as a person. But the third person of the Trinity is just as much a person and just as much God as Jesus, the second person and God the first person. Each has a different office and duty but they are One and the Same. When we ignore God or reject Jesus, we are doing the same thing to the Holy Spirit. When we grieve God, we cause sadness in the whole Godhead. When we are obedient and faithful, we bring joy to the Trinity. There is a person living inside of every Christian who feels grief, sadness, pain and joy just as we feel those things. None of us like to be ignored, neither does He. How long would a friendship last if we walked with a human friend 24/7 and never acknowledged his/her presence or spoke to them? What if we never invited them to join in our conversations and our mealtimes? What if, for all practical purposes, our words and actions denied that we had a friend with us? Yet, hour after hour, we treat the Holy Spirit exactly this way. We deny that He is within us by our actions but more often by our lack of actions. How many times and places do we have an opportunity to introduce our Friend but we don’t? How many times does He asks us to introduce Him by that little nudge we feel but we won’t? If we say that we have never felt that nudge, what does that say about our relationship with our Friend? Let us all pray that the next time we feel that nudge, we will have the boldness to introduce Him to our other friends and acquaintances.
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
— Psalm 9:1, 2 NLT
As we tell and retell the Gospel story and talk about all the marvelous things God has done for us, we are filled with joy. The more we tell the old, old story, the more sure our hope becomes and the more joy we have to help us get through each day. That old liar, satan, comes around every day telling us how bad things are and pointing out all the things we don’t have. But all we need to do is stop and consider all the things with which God has blessed us. Then we need to thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. We need to remind ourselves and satan about Paul’s admonition to us in Philippians on the things we need to focus on in our daily thought patterns.
Philippians 4:8, 9
God tells over and over that we should not worry, fear or be discouraged, yet, we spend more time considering what we are going to do when bad things happen than we do praising God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. Just as we don’t want to hear our kids complaining about what they don’t have all the time, neither does God want to hear our murmurs and complaining every day. It was this kind of behavior by God’s chosen people that caused Him to be angry with them on their trek through the desert. Do we want best friends who only tell us about their problems or those who share their concerns and their victories with us? God is our best friend, let us treat Him like we would our best friend. Talk with Him, not just to Him every day and praise Him for all of His goodness, then we will be filled with HIs peace and His joy, which is His gift to us.
1 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. 3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.–John 21:1-3 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
After some few days (at least 9, possibly more), the disciples decided to go fishing. They had seen Jesus and knew that He had risen from the grave, but the Holy Spirit had not yet come. For three years they had had a leader and a constant companion. Now, they were like sheep without a shepherd. As most of us do when we don’t know what else to do, we go back to doing what we used to do. Peter, having the strongest personality, seems to have become the temporary leader by default. They fished all night without success. “Busyness” for the sake of being busy is not usually very productive or satisfying.. They were most likely feeling very tired, alone and frustrated. When we have been with Jesus for a while and then we drift away, we have had that feeling. Kinda like you are lost at sea and just bobbing around on the waves. We may not know where we are or which direction to go, but Jesus knows exactly where we are and what we need. We have an advantage the disciples didn’t have at that time. We have God the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Unlike them, we are never alone. If you have these kind of feelings now or any time, just stop and let Jesus wrap you in His arms. He is waiting for us, just as the disciples will discover that He is waiting for them.