Back to my study in the book of James - Chapter 4 starts out with the topic of "worldliness" - it's cause and its consequences.
Vs 1 - 2 - The Cause
" What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
Vs 3 - 6 - Its Consequences
" When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says,' God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'."
God doesn't want us to be friends with "the world" - it's ways and ideologies. What is legal doesn't always mean it's ok with God, or that it lines up with His Word. That's the measuring stick we need to use in our lives.
The world is always tempting us with "stuff". We live in a society that strives to achieve more; to have more than others - to be "prosperous".
I've lived on that side of the fence. I had beautiful houses, nice cars that were paid for, unlimited spending on credit cards that were paid off each month, money in the bank, nice clothes, etc. From the outside, I looked like I was living the American dream and had it all. Material wise, I did seem to have it all, but on the inside I was lonely and miserable. The one thing I didn't have was a loving and faithful husband. You wouldn't have known it by seeing us in public - everyone thought we were the perfect couple, but what went on behind closed doors was anything but perfect.
When we seperated and divorced, I literally lost everything material. I had nothing, and the Lord reminded me of what my daddy used to always tell me which was, "Baby girl, when you think you've got it bad, worse than anyone else, go read the book of Job". I did that very thing, and when I was done reading it, I thanked God for allowing me to lose everything. It was a blessing to have nothing to rely on but Him. I had to trust him for everything in my life, and he did bring me through it.
What I wrote at the top of the page at the beginning of the book of Job:
"The Holy Spirit led me to read this entire book and He opened my eyes to the gift of suffering. He gave me the ability to trust him even in making a phone call to a friend for prayer. I thank Him for allowing me to be at this place of "natural disaster" in my life".
I now live in a humble little house which I rent. In this house, I now have a husband who loves me and is faithful to me. No, I don't have all the things I used to have, but I am now living a life where I am content, and compared to a lot of people across this great Earth, I live like a queen.
Thank God for what you do have - keep Him first in your life, and you'll find more peace and happiness in your home. Continue to pray for those who were devastated by Hurricane Ike, for those who lost family members in the train wreck in Los Angeles, and for those who lost family in the plane crash in Russia. Lastly, continue to pray for our soldiers and our leaders.
Have a blessed week...