PROFILE OF AN ENEMY
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8
Sometimes it’s helpful for me to take a spiritual truth and flesh it out inside an earthly illustration. Then, I can see it. Through the night, I’ve been asking God for a good analogy regarding these verses.
Suppose that there is a righteous man in my community. Many are employed by him, respect him, and he is rich in friends. Wanting to be associated with someone upstanding, I brag to my family and friends that I am also his friend.
However, another reality exists. He does not know me at all. Privately, I am jealous of the admiration he receives. I conduct my life in opposite ways from the way he lives his life. When I hear him quoted, I take issue with most everything he says. Truth be known, we agree on almost nothing. I avoid being around him like the plague and I don’t have any desire to be around his friends. Am I his friend? Hardly. If he were to know me intimately, we would quickly be at odds.
Those who live by the flesh cannot please God, cannot call Him their friend. The way God thinks and feels and the way an unbeliever thinks and feels are irreconcilable. It is like oil and water. An unregenerate man or woman cannot understand God at all. His ways confuse them and His presence of holiness grates on their nerves. Unbelieving people do not want to be around the people God calls His friends. Their peculiarity makes them the subject of ridicule.
Enemies of God may spend much of their lives trying to please Him and placate Him. Satan allows them to believe that they have made progress with all their charitable acts of compassion and kindness. But when all is said and done, God will ask them what they did with Jesus.
Am I God’s friend today? If I love His ways, if I have my mind habitually set on Him, if I resonate with His passions and my feet are walking in the direction of His righteousness, this is proof that He is mine and I am His.
Once I became Your friend, nothing could ever nullify our relationship. I am Your friend for life and I will never lose the wonder of that. Thank you. Amen