Yesterday we started our discussion on “friendship with the world” from James chapter 4 using the song “Mr. In Between” by Johnny Mercer.
If you missed that you can catch up
Now let’s talk about keeping away from Mr. In Between.
You know there’s actually a whole In Between family you should avoid if at all possible…They are a real problem for just about all of us.
You know who Mr In Between is don’t you? Oh sure you’ve met him. James talks about Him when he says, What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? James 4:1
Mr. In Between is the guy who goes to church on Sundays, but who fights all the way to church with the family. He’s the guy who puts on his plastic grin and walks into service. Then the worship leader starts Mr. In Between’s favorite worship song. Suddenly his hands are raised and he’s praising God. Mr. In Between shakes hands with everyone on the way out. Then, he gets in the car to go home and he gives the family the silent treatment for the rest of the day.
You know who Mrs. In Between is don’t you. James identifies her when he says, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2,3
Mrs. In Between is the lady who is trying to keep up with the Jones’. She’s the lady who gets jealous and pouty every time she’s invited to THAT friend’s house, because THAT friend has things Mrs. In Between wants that Mr. In Between can’t provide. So Mrs. I.B. goes out and spends money she doesn’t have to look good for people she doesn’t like and all the time she forgets to check with God to find out what HE thinks she should have.
And of course Mr and Mrs. have darling little Kid Betweens too. Of them James says, “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning?” James 4:4,5
You can always tell a Kid Between. He has his thumbs wrapped around the latest I Phone tech. He can tell you almost anything about anyone on Facebook in a New York minute but can’t find Genesis in the Bible without first going to the Table of Contents to find out what page it’s on.
Last week we learned that Jesus loves us and passionately wants a relationship with us. Isn’t that just a kick in the pants? The God of the universe wants a personal relationship with you. If you were the only person on Earth Jesus would have died to restore relationship with you! You can have a personal relationship with God, a relationship where you can talk to Him daily and where He will talk back! This is relationship where you will pray for things and God will do them because He loves you. You can have a relationship in which you are powerfully aware of God’s presence guiding you through even the darkest of life’s circumstances.
The problem is most of us can’t get out of our own way when it comes to having a relationship with God, simply because we won’t take Johnny Mercer’s advice. When it comes right down to it, many of us struggle in our relationship with God because we keep messin’ around with Mr. In Between, or as James would put it we have a friendship with the world that makes us an enemy of God.
What do you think it means to be a friend of the world?