Time with the Lord was very helpful this morning- as always. I have been camping out in the book of James and part of me is ready to be done with it because I keep seeing how much I miss the mark and realize I'm not doing near as well as I thought. But the other part of me realizes how good this knowledge is, IF it leads me to obedience.
This morning I feel the Lord really changed how I view pursuing holiness as I meditated on James 4:4... "You adulterous people. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
I know, I know, the verse doesn't say anything about pursuing holiness but I just think it's the exact opposite of what holiness looks like. If I had to summarize what holiness is, I might say something like a consistent desire to please the Lord in all things. I think friendship with the world would be a desire to be applauded or accepted by the world. So because of this verse I see not only the necessity of pursuing holiness but I also see how gracious the opportunity is to pursue holiness.
I think it would be safe to say that you are either an enemy of God, or you are a friend. So unholy people are enemies of God. Doesn't that terrify you like it does me?
I know of nothing worse than to be an enemy of God Almighty. I also know of nothing better than to be His friend. Which makes the opportunity to pursue holiness a great gift from our Father. In His urging of us to be holy, He is also urging us to be His friend. He is protecting us from the danger of being destroyed as well. This morning, I could not help but praise the Lord for the opportunity to pursue holiness through Jesus Christ. This helps me see holiness as such an attractive goal rather than a duty or obligation.
I also thought about why this helps me long for more holiness in my friends, my church, my family. I do not want them to be an enemy of God, I so long for them to have an ever increasing personal, intimate, joy filled relationship with the Father.
I pleaded with the Lord this morning to protect me from dangerous friendships with the world- the obvious ones, and the ones that have the potential to creep in unnoticed.
Choosing holiness means choosing God and that makes the pursuit of it such an easy choice.