The original title I had for this devotion was “Which Side of the Line are we walking On? A more straightforward question that needs asked, Are you a friend of the world? We do have phrases that deal with lines. One is, “We must walk the line.” Another asks, “Which side of the line are you on.” That question must be dealt with according to our scripture verse for today.
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
Many lines exist in this world that are invisible to the eye. Take a map for example. They often include longitude and latitude lines. But when I am traveling, I have no idea when I am crossing one of them. And when I do cross one, it doesn’t make any difference to me one way or another.
Now on the other hand I like to watch football games on TV. The broadcasters put a digitally created line across a football field showing where the first down marker is. The offense tries to get the ball past that yellow line but they can’t see it. Why? Because it is only visible to the television audience.
In our verse for today, James talks about another type of line. It’s a line some Christians have a hard time knowing where it is. It makes a difference if a person crosses this line. This line is drawn between loving the Lord and loving the world.
Are Some Churches a Friend of the World?
Some church organizations can be very legalistic on which side of the line they want their members to be on. Other church organizations have rubbed much of the line out. Their argument is, “what’s wrong with that,” or “it isn’t that bad.”
A concern to me as a pastor is how easily many of our people step over this line. Their priority moves from loving Jesus to loving the world. They are quick to tell you that they still love the Lord. But their actions reflect the love they have for worldly pleasures.
A person with whom I had contact years ago constantly asked this question. “How far back can I go without actually sinning?” A question I never understood. Why not ask, how close can I get to God?
Have you noticed there aren’t many people who can walk a tight rope? Do you know why? Because it’s hard. Most people will fall. With a rope though, it doesn’t matter which side a person falls off too. But when we walk the line between godly and worldly we will always fall off to the worldly side.
You see, when a person tries to walk that line, the enemy constantly pushes to the worldly side. Falling to the world’s side of the line can certainly make a person acceptable to the world. But, is that really the goal?
Here is a post that might spark your interest. The Enemy Is NOT Winning, Despite What You See.
On the other hand, the Lord won’t push us one way or the other. He will however extend His hand and guide us to walk every step on the solid rock.
Lord, please convict us when we become too chummy with the world. Protect us and keep us in unity with you.
Read a related post called, Who In The World Can Be Saved?
Read the entire chapter of James 4.
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