Putting God's Word into Practice…

James 4:1-6a ~ Enemies and Adulterers

on September 16, 2013

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your PASSIONS are at war within you? You DESIRE and do not have, so you murder. You COVET and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.  You do not have, because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your PASSIONS. YOU ADULTEROUS PEOPLE! Do you not know that friendships with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an ENEMY OF GOD. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? BUT HE GIVES MORE GRACE!

Worldliness has been an issue since the beginning of time.  Ever since the Enemy slithered into the Garden of Eden and persuaded Adam and Eve to rebel against the Lord, humans have been easily sidetracked from the love, glory and greatness of the Creator.  Satan’s mission is to disqualify, discredit and destroy the followers of God.

Since I belong to God, if I chase after the world (the seen and temporal environment in which I live) it is like committing spiritual adultery.  It is like being married, but chasing after other men.  It is impossible to befriend the world and be close to God because the world is Satan’s playground and our battlefield.  We cannot love the enemy of God.

Verse 4 says that when we befriend the world, we MAKE OURSELVES God’s enemies.  It is my choice whom and what I pursue in this life.  He does not wish for us to be His enemies, but His friends!

God put His spirit in me and yearns jealously over my heart and soul.  He wants all my heart, all my desires, all my passions to be for Him alone!  His jealously is not a sinful one!  It is a natural response to losing something that belongs to Him.  If my husband committed adultery, it would be very painful.  I would be jealous of his love being spread to someone else.  I would also long for him to love me again like he did at first.

God knows our hearts, and that we are prone to wander.  He knows there is a battle between our flesh and His Spirit in our hearts.  Therefore, verse 6 says, “HE GIVES MORE GRACE!”  The more understand this gift of grace, the more our passions are bent towards Him by His Spirit.  His grace is all we need to fight the world–to be “in” the world, but not “of” the world.

We are going through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ study of Ruth in our women’s ministry at church.  This past week, there was an exercise in evaluating the direction of our hearts either towards God or towards the world. Several key areas gave me pause to think (from page 33):

Recreation, leisure, and hobbies: how much time, attention, and money do I spend on them?

  • Schedule: where and how do I spend my time?
  • Finances: where and how do I spend money?
  • Priorities: How do I determine where I will expend my best time, energy, and resources?

Here are some other questions I am contemplating after reading these verses:

  • Do I only ask for things that gratify myself?
  • Are my passions and desires having a negative impact on any of my relationships?

Most of us would not say that we want to make ourselves enemies of God.  It is a slow fade–a moment-by-moment surrender to the things of this world that leads our hearts astray.  Constant evaluation and humility will keep our allegiance to the One who purchased our freedom with the blood-shedding sacrifice of His Son.


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