James 4:4--Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.
If our pursuit in life is to be happy, James wrote words that scorch our common bounds of decency. What’s so bad about liking the world? We want life to be a certain way; circumstances to align favorably; relationships to mature smoothly. Behind the surface clatter of commercialism is a much subtler danger—the god of pleasure we call Happiness. Is God against our being happy? That would be ludicrous. He put us on earth to enjoy life—not to be miserable. The danger is when we replace our love for God with an infatuation for whatever the world calls pleasing. There is a happiness that comes with joy in Jesus regardless of circumstances and there is a happiness that demands self-satisfaction. The former renders peace the latter a haunted mien.
Avoid falling prey to the siren of Happiness whose sweet notes would tell you what you must have and do to be content. Instead, take cheer in knowing Jesus. Let your happiness be in knowing the Son whose love for You meant His hanging on dressed timber because a “happy” crowd delighted to be rid of His convicting message. “. . . If anyone wants to come withMe, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me”(Luke 9:23).
Thousands of people are happy without God in this world, but that kind of happiness and peace is on a wrong level. Jesus Christ came to send a sword through every peace that is not based on a personal relationship to Himself. He came to put us right with God that His own peace might reign.—Oswald Chambers in The Servant as His Lord
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)