James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
When you read the title, your first thought would likely be Satan, right? Lucifer, the fallen angel, rose up in his heart to defy God, rebel against Him, and take vengeance on all things godly.
But James clarifies for us just who is the enemy of God.
At salvation, we are betrothed to our bride, Jesus Christ. He will come for us at the time appointed.
We play the part of the adulterer or adulteress when we go back to our worldly ways. Some slip temporarily. Others dive in head-first and drink deep. No matter the pace or depth of the sin to which we return, our direction has changed. Our position has changed.
When my labor is more carnal than spiritual, and the direction of my way is away from God, I have chosen to become a friend of the world. I become an enemy of God.
When I choose worldly entertainment, worldly music, and worldly friends, disobeyed God’s commands, and departed from a close, personal, walk with Him, I have become God’s enemy.
When I resist the Holy Spirit’s conviction, when I push away from His leadership and guidance in my life, I’ve become God’s enemy.
When the storms rage and I’m tossed about, I cry for God to save me. I have to ask, “Why would He save His enemy?”
I have deliberately chosen a direction and path opposite of His. I have knowingly walked away from His side and grabbed two fistfuls of what the world has to offer.
Why wouldn’t He cut His losses and leave?
I have proven myself wholly unworthy of the love He bestows. I have rejected the acceptance, security, and love that He provides. Why, on earth, would He have anything to do with me?
NOTE: All of the above reasoning and questions are provided on behalf of the devil whose job is to deceive the elect, take us away from our power source, and destroy our testimony.
The devil will come when we’ve blown it and speak lies to us. Our choice must be to get back to God and keep short accounts. Not acting only delays the inevitable.
1 John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Verse ten gives us the answer to our sinful condition, “…and his word is not in us.”
Playing with sin is never good. It’s like saying there is a safe sin we can participate in and not be affected by it.
Numbers 32:23 “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
I am thankful for the Lord’s longsuffering with me. But, I must never mistake His longsuffering for His approval of my behavior. The reality is that when I sin, God was close by and saw all that took place.
If He promises that He will never leave me, nor forsake me, I must take it into consideration before I plunge headlong into sinful behavior. Yet, by the time a choice is made, I’ve become numb to the Holy Spirit; I’m in the bonds of the pleasure of the sin I have yet to commit.
James 1:13-15 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Temptation, drawn away, lust, and enticed are the steps we take toward sin. Satan has mastered this process by watching what we look at and where we linger.
It might be that shiny new car on the sales lot.
It might be the bigger, better house in the more excellent neighborhood.
It might be that piece of naked flesh that catches our eye.
It might be the green eye of envy or covetousness that rears its ugly head.
It might be the praise of another we thought meant for us.
It might be any number of things. We must study ourselves to find our weaknesses as well as our strengths. When I can be honest about my areas of weakness, I can come to God to be for me that which I cannot be for myself.
God knows the temptation of the flesh intimately.
Hebrews 2:16-18 “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
Jesus took on our nature. The same steps toward sin were open to Him. Yet, in all points, He never one time sinned.
Interestingly, the definition of the word “succour.”
“Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; as, to succor a besieged city; to succor prisoners.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Because Jesus experienced every bit of temptation that you and I will, why do we neglect to engage with our Savior on a personal level regarding the struggle we have with sin?
Shame and guilt are Satan’s tools that keep us from coming willfully, willingly, and swiftly to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing.
I have quoted this principle before, but it bears repeating.
“God balances guilt with blame. Accept the blame for your actions, and God will remove the guilt.” RU Recovery Principle Number 10
This is scripturally based on 1 John 1:9.
1 John 1:9 “f we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
No child of God would ever set out to become the enemy of God.
We must not be ignorant of how God views our sin. If my dabbling with sin puts me at enmity with God, I must rush to Him for forgiveness and willingly return as quickly as I can!