James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
We have recently seen that our Idols of the Heart, when maintained and held tightly, restrict our view of the greatness of God. In doing so, they also skew our view of prayer in regard to the desires of our heart. James continues in chapter four as he describes God’s active role against His children’s idols.
The Holy Spirit, through James, begins by calling those of us who are exulting self through these idolatrous desires in our hearts, “adulteresses“. Why does He do that? The answer is quite simple actually. When we go outside our relationship with God to find pleasure or satisfaction of our desires, we commit adultery on God. We elevate pathetic and contaminated desires above our pursuit of pleasing God and bringing Him glory. James goes on to say that by doing so we become friends with the world and become hostile towards God. Think about the ramifications of that. When we are clinging to our heart’s desires that are getting in the way of doing what God would have us do, we become the enemy of God. God is in opposition to us.
Let me clarify. We do not lose salvation, but our direction and desires are at complete odds with what God’s are. That places us, His children, in a precarious spot. Isaiah 63 speaks to this:
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.
What can this mean? God moved against Israel in their rebellion to bring them back to a point of repentance. The same is true of His children today. Move in rebellion and self-exultation against God – be an adulterer in this relationship – and expect that you will become the enemy of God. In case you need this spelled out, that puts us on the losing side of that battle. God will not tolerate sin in His children. No, there is no condemnation for His children, and their sins are forgiven – having been nailed to His cross, but still He longs for His children to walk in the way of Holiness, and He will discipline His children to see it so – if not, are we not illegitmate children?
So, in the difficulty you are enduring because you refuse to deal with the idols in your heart, know that God is patiently bringing you to a point of repentance. Seek it now. Confess, repent and bask in the greatness of His grace. Do not fear – those whom He loves, He chastens.
The greater grace.