You read that correctly.
Let me just tell on my own self right now.
They say confession is good for the soul, right?
So here goes:
I have been unfaithful.
Perhaps too many times to count.
But I have this pretty good feeling that you have too.
In fact, I am certain of it.
No judgment. Hear me out.
Check out what my boy James had to say about me, and you too.
You adulterers (adulteresses)! 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
Even the Message version says it in terms we would probably better understand in our present society:
You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and His way.
(The Greeks would call me a moichalis, pronounced, “Mo-ha- lease” , which simply means idolatrous worship or an adulteress.)
You’ve been flirting with things, entertaining opportunities and taking others up on offers that God never told you to do.
Better yet, you probably didn’t even ask Him what He thought.
Instead you call it, like Rihanna said, Just liv[ing] your life.”
🎼 (Hey Ay Ay Ay!)
You know how I know?
Because God called me out on my ways recently.
One night as I was scrolling through my IG page, I saw a business suggestion on one of the pages that I follow. Without a second thought, I instantly began to go searching for the app that this person suggested would be good for my business. Until…The Holy Spirit said: ‘I didn’t tell you to do that. Why are you so quick to take advice from man (woman), but don’t move that quickly when I speak to You or tell you to do something? I thought to myself, ‘Dag Lord, you ain’t have to come at me like that?!’😢 Needless to say, that search ended before it began…
Since we’re keepin’ it all the way real, I’ll share this too.
I’ve been wanting my own way and trying to do things on my own since I was an infant, naturally and figuratively.
If I am honest, I still want it Burger King style many times these days, even as an adult.
You may be wondering, “How does having or wanting my own way equate to me being an adulterer?”
Well, James describes it as being a friend with the world, i.e. following the ways of what the world is doing (or saying), and deeming it ok because everyone else is doing/saying it. It may even look like a desire for the things of the world.
However, this is the direct opposite of what God wants. Thus, we become friends with the world and adulterers toward God. (That is of course if you are already in relationship with Jesus.)
So what are the things of the world?
Glad you asked.
Let’s hop over to 1 John 2:16 to see how he describes them.
- A desire to fulfill a craving for physical pleasure (not just sex)
- A desire for everything we see
- Boastful pride for our achievements and possessions; pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things
Now I don’t know about you, but all 3 have applied to me.
And truth be told, I don’t always want to be faithful.
I don’t always consult Him with every decision I make, despite the fact that my life really isn’t my own to live anymore.
I don’t always ask His opinion before I begin making my own plans, which He frequently seems to interrupt or reroute these days.
I don’t always want to go where He tells me to go or do what He asks me to do.
You know things like:
Praying when He wakes me up at 2 or 3 am. 🙄
Ignoring His prompting to turn down my plate for a day on behalf of a breakthrough I need, let alone for someone else.
Hitting the “Ignore” button on the call coming in from Him to sit at His feet because I want to continue watching my favorite ratchet TV show (don’t judge me!)
Grabbing my phone first thing in the morning to check email or social media before I utter, “Thank you, Lord” that my eyes have opened up, I am breathing and I can move.
I am not saying that you might not need a little ratchet in your life every now and then (that’s really between you and Jesus).
What I am saying is that if anything (or anyone) is actively vying for your heart or has more of your attention, energy, effort, and time then the things of God and God Himself, it may be time to evaluate if you may be in an adultererous relationship with the world.
I am not here to tell you about a list of Dos and Donts. This is a struggle for me too. Frankly speaking, that list hasn’t really gotten those of us who say we are in a relationship with Christ very far in our walk with Him anyway.
This also isn’t a list of rules and regulations, which often times is created by others, is more traditional than biblical in nature and set up to serve as a leash around people’s necks in order to control them.
This is a heart check to see who (or to what) have you and I been faithful.
To help us begin identifying some of the idols or adulteress ways we may have.
It’s about reconnecting and realigning us with the One who has been faithful to us even when we have been faithless. (2 Tim. 2:13)
The One who laid down His very life for you and I, whether we choose to believe it or not.
It’s about helping to reshape a heart that will be completely sold out and faithful to Jesus and seeking what He wants, which ultimately is all of us.
It’s about the Bridegroom who entered into a relationship with us long before we knew anything about Him.
He will be there until the end and won’t ever leave our side.
He’s standing at the altar of our hearts, bidding us to come, to give all of ourselves to Him-our wants, our needs, our desires, our plans, the things we are/have been waiting for.
Consider choosing Him before you decide to give yourself to another or enter into relationships with the world that may cost you your life, literally or figuratively.
Even if the opportunity presented may seem good. (I know how devastating this can be. Read more of my story here.)
God is passionate that the Spirit He has placed within us should be faithful to Him. ~ James 4:5
You already have His Spirit in you that helps you to be faithful. Allow Him to have your heart first, foremost and forever, especially as you wait.
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Photo credit: WordSwag by CJP, Playbuzz, Memes.com
Reference: BlueLetterBible.org Concordance, The Holy Bible, NLT, The Message
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