Defeating The Enemy
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James’ statement to the Jewish believers was very clear about the position many people found themselves in when they chose to follow after the things of the world rather than honoring their commitments to God. Though this passage is often interpreted as to the sin of adultery, and that this sin will make you an enemy of God, we know that any sin can cause us to be in opposition towards God. However, the context that this is written in and with whom James is speaking, clearly defines that James’ reference to adultery in this passage is about those who have entered into a relationship with God, yet daily find themselves involved in the “affairs” of the world. Essentially, it refers to one’s desire to follow after the flesh rather than the Spirit with whom they have pledged their commitment.
But this week, God would have us to review an even greater truth about this passage, and that is being an enemy of God. Satan daily seeks to instill in God’s children, an offense towards those who are lost and are friends of the world, by filling our mind with a notion that says; because this person is an enemy of our Heavenly Father, then they automatically have become an enemy of ours. Then we begin to define the enemy as one who is worthy of total destruction because they come against the ways of our God. It is certainly easy to welcome this satanic type of influence, when we see every day on just about every TV station, enemies that are seeking to destroy our country. We can even read in the old testament about the enemies of God’s people who God many times destroyed! But over the years and through misguided teachings, we have lost the focus that Christ died to save this enemy that seeks to go against His ways!!
You see, you will either overcome your enemy, or they will overcome you. But the enemies of God have already lost the fight, when GRACE appeared!! They can fight it, reject it, ignore it, and resist it, but the foolishness of this world can no longer hold people in bondage who desire to be free because God has made a way out by the blood of Jesus and God desires for all who are lost in the world to become His friends and His children.
But here is where our Glory train can go off track if we are not careful. Often times when followers of Jesus Christ are confronted with an unruly worldly person who comes against everything that we believe in Christ and maybe even openly criticizes us for our faith, many Christians are quick to quote a portion of Ephesians 5: 11 where Paul instructs us to; have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, or many also quote Matthew 18:17 where Jesus states to; let one who refuse to hear the church, let him be as a heathen and a tax collector. However, God’s heart that bled through His son Jesus Christ instructs us to LOVE our enemies, to BLESS those who curse us, and to do GOOD to those who spitefully use us and persecute us (Matt. 5:44). Paul goes on to say in Eph. 5:11 that we are to expose the unfruitful works of darkness by walking as children of the light (Eph. 5:8), while Jesus’ implications in Matt. 18:17 was not to cast out and forever despise the church offender, but to realize that they do not have the best interest of God or His children at heart, therefore, we are to unite and lift that person up in prayer and LOVE them through the battle as Christ does, until one day hopefully we see victory in their life.
We must not forget that whether someone seems good or bad, polite or mean, Christ died for all of us and He desires for His children to continue winning over the enemy for His glory. Let us not be quick to cast aside those who seem troubled or evil, while leading others to believe that there is no hope for them. We must not forget that we are in spiritual warfare and Jesus gave us all the resources we need to deal with every kind of evil on this earth, both worldly and demonic. An example of this principle is found in Luke 4:31-37 where Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and a man with an evil spirit began to disrupt the service. Jesus’ response to this, was to put the demon out of the man rather than escorting the man out of the service. We all know that there are people who will absolutely fight against the ways of God and have no desire to accept the Gospel. But that in no way authorizes followers of Christ to discard them and count them as lost. If you know someone like this in your life, though God’s Word says that you don’t have to fellowship with them, He does encourage us to love them, bless them, and do good to them with the intent of one day seeing them defeated in that they are no longer an enemy of God, but one of His own.
Remember, you can love people from a distance and you can pray for them when they are miles away. You do not have to associate with those who are seeking to be your enemy or cause you harm, to win them over to Christ. I wonder how many of our “enemies” here on earth, we will see in heaven because someone else refused to give up on them; and loved them all the way to victory in Jesus!!! God Bless
A Prayer of Repentance
God, I come to you in Jesus’ name. I confess that I have sinned against You and have come short of Your standards. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to pay the price for my sins. Jesus thank You for dying on the cross for me. I repent of my sins and ask You to be the Lord of my life. I give you my life today and I receive God’s free gift of eternal life. Thank You Lord for saving me. In Jesus Name, Amen.