Out Of This World

Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

James 4:4 NRSV

Who do you believe? God or the devil? Who do you serve? God or the devil? It’s one or the other. How can I say that? The world is the devil’s domain. You can see his handiwork everywhere in the people who are enslaved to sin.

On the other hand, those who serve the invisible God by faith are instruments of righteousness. Are you God’s friend or his enemy? God is for you. The devil is the enemy of your soul.

It’s been said that one of the greatest tricks the devil played was convincing the world he didn’t exist. If we forget that we’re in a spiritual battle, we’re just going to become part of the collateral damage. Unaware as we get mowed down by the one whose only purpose is to kill, steal and destroy.

Let’s define some terms. A friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. An enemy is a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.

To be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God. Conversely, to be a friend of God means that you resist the devil.

Think about what the world does. It wants to enslave you to the global economic system. It kills your joy, steals the best years of your life and destroys your dreams for a meaningful life. It requires that we all answer to the almighty dollar. That’s the world system. It doesn’t love you. It’s dead. It’s an illusion. It has no real power, only what we give it.

You will act on what you believe. If you believe that conforming to the ways of this world are desirable, that’s what you’re gonna do. But that’s not what’s profitable in the long run.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 NRSV

We’re in for a rude awakening. Putting your trust in anything but Jesus is a recipe for disappointment. Place your trust in no man, or woman, or non-binary science experiment. Trust in God alone. Serve God alone. Then it will go well for you.

“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.”

John 15:14‭-‬19 NRSV

Before I knew Jesus, I was looking for truth in anything and everything. But nothing satisfied that deep existential ache for a sense of belonging. I was an outcast in my own family. All my associates were drug and alcohol addled. Sin was my lifestyle. Only when I was ready to throw my life away permanently did God intervene by His loving providence to redirect my path to follow Him instead of the impulses of my flesh.

I can relate to people stuck in the world system. I remember what it felt like to be lost and hopeless. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I learned compassion through suffering. That’s what motivates me today to continue the fight in the face of adversity. If you don’t have something that you’re willing to die for, you have nothing to live for. I will die for the truth. The Gospel is the truth. Some people will hate me for it, but I can’t stop telling the truth to anyone who’s willing to listen.

May God open your eyes to the truth and may you walk in the light of His love forever and ever. Amen.

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