Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 16, 2003

A friend of the world is an enemy of God

(James 4:4)

A friend of the world is an enemy of God. I have been holding off writing this devotional for many months now. I am warning you right now, that you better say a prayer before reading this, because this is exactly where the rubber meets the road in our Christian journey. I will let you in on a secret. This is probably the one verse in the Bible that I hate to read. The reason is, there is no way to candy-coat it. There is no way to soften the blow. There is no way to dance around it, or explain your way out of it. It is exactly what is says. Black and white. It simply says that if you are a friend of the world, you are an enemy of God. It actually says it twice in the same verse. I don't know about you, but out of everything in the world, being an enemy of God is probably the last thing I want to be.

The natural question that arises, what exactly does being a "friend of the world" mean. Maybe this is where we can find some wiggle room in this verse. Sorry. This verse deals specifically with the free will God has given to us, and is simply saying, that you have choices to make each and every day. In each choice, you are basically electing to either do something your way...or God's way. When you choose your way, which God allows you to do, you are on your own. You cannot expect God's blessings since God does not bless disobedience. You cannot expect His help. You are on your own. In fact, you have chosen not only to do it your way, you have chosen to make God your enemy. I don't know about you, but that is not a place I want to be. When you do it God's way, you get the benefit of His strength, His blessings, the confidence of knowing you are in His will.

We make many decisions each and every day. I want you to start thinking about your decisions in the context of who you are really in love with. Yourself, or the Lord. Your will, or His. Your way, or God's way. A friend of the world, or a friend of God. Like the prodigal son, we are so blessed that God is merciful and full of grace, and even though we may turn our back on Him, He is still there. Waiting for us to turn back to Him. But we should never take God's grace and mercy for granted or tempt Him.

I want you to take a few minutes right now and really pray and ask God to make you aware each day of the decisions you make, and what you are actually saying in each decision about your relationship with Him. That is another reason I stress the importance of that daily time with Him in prayer and the Word. It helps us to stay focus on Him and who He is in our life. It reminds us that He really is our best friend.

I love you and am praying for you. This is a Devotional that needs to be printed and sent to everyone that you know. It is that important. Having this understanding can save us much pain and heartache. We need to recognize each day that we are deciding many times a day what we love most....this world....or the Lord.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller