We are in the world though not of the world. We will be in the world until we are called home to be with the Lord. But James reminds us that we cannot be a friend of the world. This doesn’t say we cannot be part of the world. We are a part of the world. We are still in the flesh. This verse says that we aren’t to be a friend of the world.
A worldly friendship is something we have when we decide to choose the flesh and the temporary rather than God. A worldly friendship is when we turn ourselves away from our Creator and to something less. This kind of friendship has eyes taken off of Jesus and focused on everything around us that will one day fade away.
Today, are you a friend of God or an enemy? Have you made friends with the world? Or do you have a heart for God?
“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]
I remember the school days when it was time to line up and select teams for various sports. There were some sports that I was selected as one of the first picks and others when I was standing on the line awaiting the selection till the very end. As children we chose our friends and we chose those we thought would help us to win. That was how it went. I don’t think this ever ends because as adults in the workforce, we chose people who will help us succeed and sometimes we pick our friends.
With God, we are chosen simply because He created us and He loves us. Today’s verse states “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” To God, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t the “best player” for the team. He is not necessarily looking for the person who can recite the most Scripture or the one who has the least blemishes on his record. It is He alone who qualifies us for the team. He also doesn’t have favorites. Each of us is His favorite. He loves each of us like an only child.
The bottom line is He chose you and He’s not going to toss you away. Like Abraham, He calls you “friend.” When you believe in Christ, you are called a “child of God.” Child. Friend. Chosen. Loved. It always felt good to be picked for the team, whether it was for recess or gym class or even today in the workforce. How great is it to be chosen for God’s team? How great it is to be called a child of God? To be called friend?
“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” – Isaiah 41:9 [NLT]