Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
As Jesus is ministering in Galilee, manifesting the kingdom of God in people’s lives by bringing healing and teaching, He encounters two people: a leper, and a paralytic man carried by his friends. The leper sees Jesus and falls at His feet, saying that if it’s His will, He can heal him. Jesus is willing, and heals him of his leprosy, and word spreads about Him all over. When Jesus is preaching in a house one day, the crowd was so big that a paralytic man carried by His friends couldn’t even get to Him, so they drilled through the roof and lowered him down in front of Jesus. He saw how persistent their faith was in Him, and their loyalty to their friend, and not only healed the man’s paralysis, but forgave him of his sin!
Over and over again during His ministry on Earth, the Lord Jesus made it very clear that there is no middle ground when it comes to the Gospel; you’re either for Him, or against Him (AKA, with Satan). Jesus also made it very clear that you can’t serve Him and things of the world, like money or sex, and that true friendship with Him will result in obedience and doing His will in love. Long story short, for true believers and followers of Christ, our devotion and loyalty is solely towards Him, undivided and whole; we can’t serve and worship Jesus, but also support and stand with the sinful values and interests of the world. When we have friendship and fellowship with God, we’re opposing the world and Satan. Now, don’t get me wrong, we are called to love the world as God does, but not to love it in the sense that we’re a part of it and act like it.
So, what does this look like? Well, for me, this was convicting because it caused me to reevaluate the things I was watching or listening to (and therefore supporting), and see if these things were causing me to harden my heart towards God. I have to be transformed in my mind and habits, and ask “Am I dabbling in the world too much? Am I condoning and supporting sinful things for the sake of entertainment or enjoyment?” If He’s calling me to ministry, as His warrior and servant in the world, I need to stand behind Him and His Kingdom one-hundred percent, in love and gratitude for the God who came in human flesh like mine and died for me.
- What does this look like for you? How can you let the Holy Spirit transform your life, and remove the things that are in opposition to God? Where are you siding with the world instead of Christ alone? He loves you, and the world, and wants to free us from Satan’s dominion by calling us into close and intimate friendship with Him