Our Pastor is continuing his sermon series from the book of James. This section is titled Dependent. He noted that God does not seek our independence but instead seeks our dependence on Him. [My interjection here: I sometimes think this is a difficult concept for Americans as we are generally known as a nation of limitless opportunities where we are raised being told we can accomplish anything we work hard enough for. This tends to foster an atmosphere of independence and “do it myself” response even from children. God doesn’t want us to “do it myself”; He wants us to seek His guidance and follow His lead.]
Pastor used examples such as tug of war and Red Rover to point out the problems of a divided nature that is pulling in different directions. As humans we are always balancing opposite goals: responsibility on one side (what we should do) versus fun on the other (what we want to do). Spending v saving; eating a rich meal v working out during lunch. Living our old life after we have accepted the new life found as a Christ follower. James points out that we can't have it both ways. James 4:1-4 James says in verse 4: “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?”
Today we have many different levels of friends, including friends on facebook who we don’t really know and have never talked to one on one or done things with. Historically, a friend during the times of James would mean someone you would spend time with and do things with. However, whether then or now, do we ever find ourselves being two- faced by saying or acting one way with friends and then another when we come before God or talk with fellow believers? This is wrong. God is jealous of our attitudes, times and every aspect of our lives. He takes our standing with Him more seriously than we do.
James 4:7-10 tells us what to do to change our attitudes from worldliness to Godliness. ‘Humble yourself; resist the devil; come close to God…
God has come all the way from Heaven to earth for us. He is here – waiting for us to turn and take one step to Him. We must first repent of our worldly ways and allow God to lift us up as His child. We must put on the full armor of a believer. Ephesians 6:10-18.
The Point: The next move toward a fully committed relationship with God is yours.
We need to recognize that we can only get satisfaction from God, not from the world. God wants to be close to us. We can only run the good race if we focus on Him and not on the world.
I started with a different song in mind but came to this one, which I think fits.A Verse for Today:
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Lord, Help me commit each morning to walk with Your guidance and not in my own strength nor in the ways of the world.