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*
James uses strong language here to make us see the seriousness of divided loyalty.
We live in the world, but as Christians we’re to live by God’s wisdom and not by following the world’s way.
“World” has two meanings here. We live in the physical world and are called to bring God’s love to our fellow inhabitants, but we’re also called to demonstrate a way of life that doesn’t match the natural, unredeemed human mindset.
It’s not about being against the world. It’s about being for God, choosing to stay close to Him, guarding our relationship with Him above all else.
It’s about faithfulness. Loyalty. Loving this God who loves us so much more.
The more we resist the desires and thought patterns that would damage our intimacy with God, the more we can grow in the abundant life He wants to give us.
We want it all—want it both ways—and we fool ourselves that it’s okay. But it’s stunting our spiritual lives, making us poor examples of what God offers, and it’s making us much less than God designed us to be.
And it’s offensive to Him.
Holy God, You love us but You require our full allegiance. Please forgive our disloyalty and help us to live for You. Take Your rightful place in our hearts, exalted and adored, and help us conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the hope and salvation You’ve so freely given us.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.