A Friend of God

James 4:4 – Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

An enemy of God. James is writing to Jewish believers and yet is warning them that to desire the world is to make yourself an enemy of God.  Did you see that?  Even a desire for friendship with the world is dangerous. I hope this makes you pause as it did me. 

Jesus wants our full surrender.  That means 100% of us.  We live in the world, surrounded by all of its lusts and pleasures, inundated with its messages of earthly wisdom, and bombarded with values and mind-sets that are in opposition to God, and yet God still wants all of us.  Have you ever stopped to consider what all of you means? 

Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.

Matthew 6:33 – Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

This is full surrender.  When we understand that our lives are not our own, that we belong to Jesus – bought and paid for with the highest price – we also understand that our plans are nothing, but God’s plans for us will reap the greatest reward.  The world would tell you just the opposite:  you need a plan, chase your dreams, follow these steps to achieve everything you ever wanted, your life belongs to you and you get to decide how you want to live it.

Those concepts, however, leave little to no room for Jesus.  Rather, they place you in direct opposition to Him, and leave you as an enemy, an opponent, if you will, to God.  No one that calls themselves a Christian would ever intentionally place themselves in opposition to God, but many still desire what the world has to offer and chase it with much greater intention than they do God. All of you means to surrender your plans, your desires,  your time, your will, your thoughts, your pride, your dreams, and every other part of you, to Him.  This is not done by accident. This is intentional, and it is an ever-growing part of you.

The intentional part is the humility to lay yourself down at His feet and to seek Him above all else.  Humbling yourself to His wisdom and direction, with a willingness to let go of any of your own preconceived plans and to follow Him.  The ever-growing part is in continuously receiving His grace to help you with every step.  We will forever need to walk closely to Him with the Holy Spirit.

James 4:5,6 –   Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?  But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:  “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Galatians 5:24-25 – Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

God yearns jealously for us.  His Spirit longs for us to stop resisting Him, to stop craving what the world can offer, and to seek Him with our whole heart.  He knows the pain, the hurt, the regret, the false hope and pride, and every other evil thing that results from chasing the world, and it grieves Him to watch us long for any part of it.  Every good and perfect gift comes from Heaven above, but our eyes can’t see Heaven and our flesh doesn’t understand His ways, so in our weakness and hunger for success, prosperity, and popularity, we take the bait and are pierced by Satan’s wicked schemes. 

The only way to follow the Spirit is to be constantly with the Spirit, ever aware of His presence and always watching and listening for His direction. 

Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We are to walk by faith and not by sight.  We are to live by the Spirit and not in the flesh.  Our flesh is weak, but our spirit is willing and is strengthened by His Spirit.  This is our calling – to seek Him first above all else, to listen for His voice, to follow His leading, to feel His strength rise up within us, and to walk boldly before the world knowing that our God is greater than anything the world could ever offer. 

There are two options in this world – to be a friend of Jesus, or a friend of the world.  I choose Jesus.  Therefore, I turn my eyes and my heart to Him, I release every plan of my own, and I choose to trust Him – when it’s hard, when it’s uncomfortable, when it hurts, and when I don’t understand – I trust Him. 
Quinn Pruett