My family has collectively decided on a new hobby: skating. And I’m not just talking about me and the kids. It’s been a month or more of skating every Saturday night for myself and my kids, my siblings and their spouses and kids, and my mom and step dad. I’m wondering when the management is going to offer us frequent skater miles.
We were skating last weekend and I was people watching, per the norm. I love to watch people. Partly because I love to study people, and partly for my own amusement. People crack me up sometimes. I happened to notice a trio skating around the rink: a girl holding hands with two boys, one on each side. I thought, “that’s really awkward, I’m sure.” We’re talking teens here, not little kids. And suddenly, I thought about our relationship with God and the world. We’re kind of like that girl in the middle.
These guys seemed to be enjoying themselves. And they might, for a while, both enjoy basking in the attentions of this adoring female. But you know, inevitably, one or the other is going to want her to make a choice. One of them, or both of them, is going to expect her to choose between the two of them.
As I recall, our God is a jealous God. He’s not too happy being on one hand while the world holds the other. He’s not okay being the third wheel and He definitely does not want to frolic with us holding the hand of the world. He wants us all to Himself. James 4:4 very bluntly tells us how God feels about this strange threesome: “… don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
Eventually, in our walk with God, His patience with our worldliness flatlines. He grows us to a point where it is no longer a matter of overcoming habitual living, and then He looks us square in the eye and says, “Well, are we moving on together? You coming with me, or what?” God eventually brings us to a place where we have to decide who’s hand we want to hold. Do we want to continue on with the things of this world or do we want Him completely?
The truth is, a lot of what we know about grace is a lie. Jesus didn’t die for our sins so we could live in worldliness. He died to renew our fellowship with the God. So we could walk away from sin and not be bound by it any more. Jesus had power over sin, and he filled us with the fullness of his spirit so we could also have dominion over our carnal flesh. Our failures highlight our need for Christ. We aren’t supposed to accept them and act like nothing is wrong. We are told to resist the devil. If we are holding hands with the world, we are holding hands with the devil. That hardly sounds like resisting him.
“Choose you this day whom you will serve … As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)” From now on, I’m skating with my hand in His, holding tightly and rejecting the advances of the world and Satan. Yes, Lord, you’re the only one for me. I am completely yours.