The limestone cavern collapsed forming a steep-sided pit. Fifty-eight Columbian and three Wooly mammoths fell in, died, and their remains are preserved to this day in the hardened mud! My wife and I visited the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota, a pit now completely enclosed by a building and climate controlled. Meticulous excavation is ongoing.
The pressures on this spaceship called earth can cause all of us to slip into a pit ourselves. Cancer, bankruptcy, divorce, and depression, just to name a few, can cause us to slip into a physical or emotional pit.
There’s another kind of pit that is much more subtle. It is not the world we live in, but the world that lives in us. The Bible says, “If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God” James 4:4 NLT. It is one thing to be at war with a neighbor, relative, or another nation. But to be an enemy of God Himself is incalculably worse.
So what is a “friend of the world?” It does not mean enjoying nature with all its beauty, unless you become worshipper of the moon, a tree, or a rock. It is not being friends with people, even Jesus was a “friend of sinners.” So what is it? It is living a life as if God does not exist or does not matter. Most of the world lives a prevailing “without-God” attitude.
This pit has four mammoth missteps in James 4:1-6: selfishness: self-gratification results in disaster (vv.1-2); prayerlessness: not praying or praying selfishly brings frustration (vv.2b-3); worldliness: a “without God” lifestyle declares war against God (4-5); and pridefulness: a position of arrogant opposition to God (v.6).
“But he (God) gives more grace” (v.6). What good news! God provides a way out of this “world-in-us” pit. The grace of Jesus Christ provides salvation, but also daily power to live out-of-the-pit.
In James 4:6-12 are seven biblical bombshells to blow you out of this pit: 1) Submit yourselves to God (v.7); 2) Resist the devil, he will flee from you (7b); 3) Draw near to God, he will draw near to you (v.8); 4) Purify your hearts from double-mindedness (v.8b); 5) Let your fake laughter be turned to mourning and your false joy to gloom (v.9); 6) Humble yourselves before the Lord, he will exalt you (v.10); 7) Judge yourself, not someone else. (vv.11-12).
When God excavates your soul at the end of your life, will he find you spiritually dead or alive?
Worship with us this Sunday at 9am. Find this message at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.” Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity. Email me at DWrightBalboa@gmail.com