What is your attitude toward our world, and specifically our culture?
Do you go along and let it influence and define you?
Most of us probably do–at least, to a large extent.
That’s a problem, though–because this world is not our home!
“Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2:11)
When we identify ourselves more with this world, with our culture–it’s values, it’s ‘morals’, it’s treasures–then we are defining ourselves differently than God does, and we are setting ourselves up to live in rebellion to Him.
“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. 5 Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.” (James 4:4-5)
James is pretty blunt! He calls us adulterers because our ‘partner’ has become this world, rather than the Spirit of God!
Unfortunately, some people in our churches don’t see it that way.
“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” (Philippians 3:18-21)
Even within our churches there are people who live for the here-and-now. Their ‘god’ is their appetite (note: Not only about food). Their desires reign in their lives…and they continue to stand in opposition to God!
I believe that, increasingly in the coming days, the Church in America will be divided. There will be those who want ‘church’ to be a small part of their lives, but who mostly identify themselves with this world. There will be others who see themselves as citizens of heaven more than anything else, and who want to purify their hearts and love for Christ.
As James continues:
“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”[c]
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.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. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” (James 4:6-10)
I believe the Lord is looking for His children who will love Him, first and foremost…who will turn their backs on this world system and all that it means, and will submit themselves to Him, living for His glory. That means showing love and grace, but living by the Word of God as well…and not compromising!
Are you ready? These are serious times!
Pray! Repent of your worldliness! Ask the Lord to help you view yourselves as Christians first, everything else second. Ask for wisdom–as to how to be ‘involved’ in this world, but not to be ‘immersed‘ in this world.