Adultery or Faithfulness by Virgil Stripes
James 4:4-5 (ESV)
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. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
This passage is slightly troubling. Was there idol worship so early in the early church that James had to call them out for spiritual adultery? I hope not. A couple different commentaries both say that it was because of the problems that the Jews had prior to the captivities. The Israelites were taken away into Babylon, Assyria, Persia, etc. It is believed that there was not true idol worship since returning from Babylon. Yet Jesus warned the Jews, that if they rejected Him, it was because they were listening to "their father", the devil. They had fallen to temptation to love this life, and think this is all there is. The propensity to love this life, is like flirting with a co-worker. It may not be adultery, but it is a warning sign that if things don’t change, it could very easily become so.
Many years ago, I read an article in US News and World Report about affairs in the workplace. It stated that most affairs do not start with the intent of being unfaithful. It starts with “harmless” flirting. Then as familiarity grows, and they begin to share more intimate details, sometimes even disappointments with spouses, danger looms.
This world is not our home if we are in Christ. We should not be flirting with the world. Yes we live here. We are in captivity if you will. We should be constantly looking toward the “return” to our home. Actually we have never been there, but it will be like coming home. We will be with our Risen Lord. We will see Him and worship Him in person. I can’t even imagine the glory, the thrill, the wonder, and the joy when I see Him in His glory. The three Apostles; Peter, James, and John, who accompanied Jesus up on the mountain where He was transfigured, were stunned by His glory. Imagine when we will see Him in even more glory.
So today, as you ponder these things, I pray that each of us will think about where our hearts are. Do I love this life more than the next one? Do I love my “stuff” more than my God? What will I do to show my God that I am ready to be true to Him above all else?