In my last blog entry we were looking at the crippling effect being double-minded can have on us spiritually. We cannot be friends with this world and remain loyal to God. To try to live like those around us will eventually pollute our mind, heart, perspective and understanding. We all know that we have been told to live in this world but not to be part of it. So how do we do this? How do we live here, surrounded by desires and distractions, dying every day in the hopes that others would choose to live, representing the light of the world, without becoming polluted by the world? James gives us direction here:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Plain enough. That is because the truth is not difficult. If you want to remain pure and useful to God then remain submitted to him. Every time the enemy comes at you with temptations resist him as Jesus did, relying on the Word, and he will leave you. It is only while you entertain that temptation that he sticks around. Tell him to go away and use Scripture to do it. James goes further:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:8-10)
The solution is so simple and we make it so complicated. The way we stay pure and unpolluted is to continue to remain close to God, focused on him, which allows us to understand that he is with us. Every Christian needs to maintain a repentant heart because pride creeps in if we do not, and pride leads to our fall because it resists repentance. We do not need Jesus 10 % of the time, we need him 100% of the time as we navigate through this fallen world. If you do not recognize its fallen state the enemy already has you.
A good, faithful and loyal servant only has one attitude: humility. Constantly remembering what we were, what Jesus had to do to save us, and what we are now helps us remain humble. We did nothing for ourselves. We were not capable of doing anything for ourselves. We needed rescuing and Jesus did it at great personal cost. To remember that every day, to experience it, keeps us in a place of humility, realizing that it is impossible to do any of this without Jesus. The moment we start living as if we can do this alone is the moment the enemy has us.
We cannot avoid this world because we are here as agents of reconciliation. It is in the example of our actions, our living, matching up with our words that lend credibility to the power and love of our God. It is as we face hardships and trials with great joy that people notice there is something different about us. It is as we resist the great temptations, attractions, and pitfalls of this world that people notice there is something different about us. It is as we share the love of Jesus through our unbiased kind acts and our loving our enemy that people notice there is something different about us. The moment we stop resisting the enemy and we fall under the spell of this place is the moment we have handed victory over to the enemy. It is not as hard as it may seem. Stick close to Jesus, maintain a repentant heart, and clothe yourself in humility. At all cost, avoid giving into you selfish desires. Seek what Jesus' wants, which is the salvation of everyone in the world. We will be fine as long as we love Jesus with all our heart, mind, body and strength.