Friend or Enemy?

Have you taken a spiritual inventory lately? A big part of such an inventory involves taking stock of your friendships, specifically your friendship with the world versus your friendship with God. Asking the following questions helps evaluate if you are a friend of God or His enemy.

  • What do your values reveal about you?
  • What do your passions say about what’s important to you?
  • What do your investments say about your focus?

Are you God’s enemy? Being a friend of the world means you are an enemy of God (James 4:4). Evaluate your friendship with the world by asking the following questions.

  • Are you investing all your energy, effort, choices and gifts into things without eternal value?
  • Are you willing to do anything to get what you want?
  • Are you a Sunday morning only Christian?
  • Are you more fervent with things like sports and television shows than you are with God?
  • Are you letting your values be determined by the world rather than Scripture?

Are you God’s friend? Being a friend of God, like Moses and Abraham were, means having an exclusive relationship with God. Being God’s friend requires being All In with Him. Ask yourself the following to help determine the status of your friendship with God.

  • Have you gone beyond making Jesus your Savior to making Him your Lord?
  • Do you trust everything in this life to Him?
  • Do you make excuses for why you can’t live for Jesus, or have you moved beyond blaming others and taken responsibility for your friendship with God?

How do you become a friend of God? James does not sugar coat anything he says, and his instructions for becoming a friend of God also come to us with clear instruction in James 4:7-10. Let’s look at these instructions in the form of questions to fit with our spiritual inventory mindset.

  • Have you humbled yourself before God?
  • Do you deliberately resist the devil?
  • Do you intentionally draw close to God?
  • Are you choosing to Stay Pure?
  • Have you shown repentance?
  • When was the last time you bowed down before God?
  • Do you regularly admit your dependence on Him?

Is friendship with God worth it? Let’s turn again to James 4:7-10 to determine whether friendship with God is worth giving up friendship with the world.

  • Resist the devil, and he will flee.
  • Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.
  • Bow down before God & admit dependence on Him, and He will lift you up and give you honor.

I don’t know about you, but this spiritual inventory was not a lot of fun for me. In fact, it was somewhat uncomfortable. Depending on where you are in your life, an inventory like this might be downright painful. But the discomfort and pain pale in comparison to the benefits.

DISCUSSION: Have you ever done a spiritual inventory like this one? Was it helpful?

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10 Replies to “Friend or Enemy?”

  1. That was a good inventory, Kari. The interesting thing for me is that I answered all the questions in a way that showed I was friends with God and not the world – but I'm still in a phase of life where I'm wrestling with the world. I'm hoping this is a short-lived phase because it's not very fun but I do believe God is guiding me through it for the purpose of strengthening me and bringing me to a greater depth with Him.

    1. Thanks Barb. Good to hear it was confirmation for you on where you are too. You mention "still wrestling," which I call struggling. I feel like if we are struggling, that means we're resisting the world and evil and not giving in. in hat sense, struggle is good. Greater depth is always the goal, isn't it? With that as your focus, you will find victory in the struggle.

      1. Good point, Kari – I guess I should expect to struggle more at different points in life when there are more temptations. But I had a few years there of fellowship without much struggle so I guess I got spoiled!

        1. Struggle means victory is coming. Periods without struggle (moutnain tops) are great respite, but growth is found by walking through valleys. Read Psalm 23 with this perspective not long ago and received so much blessing from it.

  2. I think it's so wise to do this occasionally. It's so easy for us to get complacent and just assume that everything's OK. We need a time like this to take a good hard look at ourselves. I think there's even room for doing this at different levels at different intervals. For instance, a quick review weekly, a more in depth monthly, and maybe once a year take a weekend away to fast and pray.

    1. Great point, Loren! Sounds like a great follow-up post idea, or maybe, a guest post here? I like the idea of breaking it down to small steps done over time. Let me know if you're interested.

      1. I think it would help me if I asked someone to help me do the check. I may be tempted otherwise to gloss over some things I should work on.

        1. Accountability can play a huge, valuable role in this process. Definitely could have included that topic in a discussion on doing a spiritual inventory. I wrote a post a while back on having an accountability partner, and as I think more about your comment, I realize how much having one truly does keep me aware of the areas listed in the "Friend or Enemy" post. Great addition to the topic for sure.

  3. Kari,
    A good check here. I would say I am failing in some areas. I do pray alot and I think I reach out to people to impact their lives but I know I need to do much better reading God's word consistently. Thanks for the spur. 🙂

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