I must confess to a difficult internal conflict I face every NFL season. I am a fan of two different teams. I grew up as a Cowboys fan but then lived in Seattle for many years. As a result I have a love for the Seahawks and the Cowboys. On most weeks I can happily root for the success of both teams. But occasionally my allegiance is tested when these two teams play each other. I often choose to not even watch the game. It’s like watching my two best friends fight. There is no real winner for me.
In James 4 the author addresses his readers who were battling a similar but far more serious dilemma. This particular congregation is struggling with their allegiance as well. Unfortunately, it is between God and the world. James diagnoses the problem and calls them out for committing spiritual adultery. They are trying to find their joy and satisfaction apart from God. They are even bold of foolish enough to prayerfully ask God to give them things that will rob God of His glory and take their focus off of Him.
James reminds them of the danger of a divided allegiance. God opposes those who display this type of prideful rebellion. It causes fighting and quarreling in their congregation. And, their split allegiance will only result in them becoming an enemy of God.
But fortunately, God is gracious, incredibly gracious. The good news is that if they draw near to God, He will not turn them away. This process involves submitting to God and His authority over their lives. They must resist the devil and his lies and half – truths. They must repent of their actions and attitudes. They must humbly come to God relying on His grace and power to change.
I wish I could say football is the only area in which my allegiance can be divided. But if I am honest, I too struggle with other areas in which my focus can be divided. I would guess you do as well. We can easily believe the lie that there is joy to be found apart from Jesus. We can believe the whispers of the enemy that would lead us away from a full devotion to God. But the good news is that God’s grace is there for us. Therefore, it is important for us to continually repent of our double – minded ways. We must immerse ourselves in the precious truths and promises of God’s Word and ask Him for the grace and power to follow Him, treasure Him, and abide in Him.
What are some of the areas in your life in which your commitment is divided? Take time to prayerfully repent and seek the grace and power of God today to refocus your allegiance on God alone.