James 4:1-5 is five verses with a lot to say!
Fights and Quarrels
James 4:1-2 answers a BIG question in the world today. Actually, it’s a question that’s existed ever since the Fall of Man: what causes us to fight? From Cain who killed Abel – to many fights and factions recorded in the Old Testament all the way through the early church in Acts and the epistles. Even what we experience today. What cause us to quarrel and fight? The evil desires at war within you. It’s not an outside problem – it’s an inside one. Verse 2 spells it out – it’s all about selfishness and control. Every divorce, every faction, every war has been caused by these things.
Prayer and Motives
Verse 3 reminds us that motives matter when we pray. God looks at our heart. Prayers designed to hurt others or only to advance ourselves will not be answered. Aren’t you glad?
Friendship with the World
What’s it means to be a friend with the world? It means to love the things that God hates (1 John 2:15-17). How do you and I do that? What are we FOR that God’s AGAINST? When we take this posture – according to James – we make ourselves enemies of God. James says it twice in this verse! Matter of fact, he calls us adulterers! What’s adultery? It’s being married to one person and fooling around with someone else. How could that apply to us spiritually? When we receive the gift of salvation, we enter a covenant relationship with Jesus. If we keep fooling around with the world – we’re cheating!
Pride is the source of all sin. It’s terribly destructive in all relationships including our relationship with God. When we’re proud – God opposes us. I don’t know about you – but I don’t want none of that! God promises to issues grace when we’re humble – that’ much better!
- What are some relationships in your life that are broken because of your selfishness and control? What can you do to fix that?
- In what ways do you oppose God by being a friend of the world? Look for those today and try and avoid them.
- Search your heart for pride – ask God to show you and confess it.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor