My alarm clock sounded this morning, my eyes blinked open and the words "Friendship with the world is enmity with God" flashed through my mind. My feet hit the floor and the words (Scripture) kept replaying like my Grandma's old record player.
I began my usual morning practice a little out of order, because of the blazing Scripture wake up I had had), of thanking God for another day of life, for the breath that fills my lungs and for all that He has abundantly blessed me with. As I groggily walked from our bedroom down our long narrow hallway, toward the Kitchen, it seemed as though the Scripture was becoming louder. I rounded the corner, passed through the entry way, where our beautiful barn-door hangs, gently slid it open, and made my way into the kitchen, grabbed my favorite mug and began pouring my coffee.
There was silent in this space, except for the sounds of the birds singing, I paused and realized the verse was still echoing in my head and in my heart. I made my way to the Kitchen island where I have my Bible study every morning. That's when it hit me. WAKE UP BRITTANY, God is trying to tell you something!
"Friendship with the world is enmity with God." I grabbed my Bible and my computer, because, let's face it, it was early and I could not for the life of me remember where this particular verse was located. Funny thing, I have been studying the book of James- and needless to say, that's where it's found.
"You have not because you do not ask. you ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your own passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:3-4)
We live in a church culture that has bought into self-help, new-age mysticism, comfort, self-serving ideology, materialism, individualism, and lots of other ism's. We as a whole have been blinded to truth, and ignorantly bought into the spirit of relativism. We have become friends with the world, and simply put a "Christian" spin on it. In doing so we have given up following the Jesus of the Bible and created a Jesus that fits "us" and our image. There are lots of loud cries right now, simply turn on any news station and you will hear them. But what about the pleas from God to "Wake UP" and return to truth, to forsake the worlds teachings and to follow Jesus, the true Christ - that the Bible speaks of.
My heart was bursting this morning as I sat with James 4. I began to pray it out loud, to repeat the passage, asking God to open my eyes, give me ears to hear and a heart to receive truth from His Holy Word. I wanted to know where I have been blinded and where I was cultivating friendship with the world, in my own life. It struck me at my core, because I realized God likens friendship with the world with adultery. Adultery is ruinous, destructive, and tears at the very fibers that hold a marriage relationship together, it is the enemy to ones marriage, not a friend. In the same way, adultery with the world, is against my relationship with God!
Doesn't this truth go against our self-built, idolatrous images we have erected of what we want God to be like? Waking up, asking ourselves where we are creating, and making space to hold hands, and skip alongside the world, just like we ran around the grade-school playground with our bestie, is like a car barreling toward a brick wall and screeching to a complete stop. Emotions will be big and rush through your veins. And then a decision will need to made, because God doesn't desire mere reflection, he requires obedience, which is action.
There are a multitude of voices speaking at us these days, but - are we listening to the one that is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)? Are we willing to follow Him, no matter the cost (Matthew 16:24)? Do we want to be woken up, or are we comfortable in our winter like slumber? Are we encouraging one another in the faith toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:23-24), or are we encouraging each other in worldliness, not just "worldliness" but a worldly version of our "Christianity?"
Each day I take notes and journal my Bible study in my write the word journal - there is a blank space at the bottom for me to write my word of the day, yesterday I wrote "seek" today, I wrote "wake up" I want to remind myself throughout the day to- wake up, and seek Jesus, the true Jesus of the Bible, not the one that has been culturally redefined.
I want to invite you to journey with me today and everyday, with intentionality (just made up that word) to seek out who Jesus is, to know Him, and make Him known, to line up what you think you know about Him with what the Bible teaches about Him. And if you or I have believed something contradictory to what the Bible says, decide, and purpose to turn and follow hard after the one and only Christ, the one the Bible teaches us is the way maker. I love what David Platt says; "Commit to believe whatever Jesus says, commit to obey what you have heard. The gospel requires a response."
"We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again;death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin,once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11)
We must wake up - put away our old friendship with the world in order to embrace our friendship with God. Jesus' ways are not our ways.
Grace + Peace,
Book Recommendation Radical by David Platt (Taking back your faith from the American Dream).
Note: NO money is made off of recommendations in this post, these are resources that I personally use and am choosing to share.