Summary: Man cannot love the world and love God.
Friendship with the world
The 4th chapter of James begins with a discussion of fights and quarrels. But too truly get a feel for what we are talking about we need to understand that we are literally talking about wars and battles. The root cause of these conflicts are the selfish desires waging war within. There are both internal and external manifestations of these battles. The internal conflict occurs between selfish desires and God given passion. Our sin nature battles with our new creation in Jesus.
There is also an external conflict that appears. This conflict is a process. It begins when you want something (desire at work). Unfortunately you can’t have it - (desire frustrated). Frustrated desire lashes out at others in anger and abuse. Desire responds in jealousy to those who have what it wants. This jealousy causes the following types of actions:
1. a disregard of others
2. a trampling over others if necessary
Let’s look at the reason ther is a lack of fulfillment.
First of all we must consider a lack of prayer. God’s will was not sought in response to our wants. Your prayer must be spirit led...not selfish in nature. Remember God does not grant inappropriate requests. God also knows your true heart, and He may see that your request may be spent foolishly on selfish desires.
Each of us is given a daily choice. We must choose to love and serve God or love the world. Realize that to love the world is to turn your back on God. To turn your back is to become enemies. The Bible teaches us that God jealously longs for us. His longing is so great that He gives grace. His grace is so sufficient that our sins can be forgiven. When we give in to God, He gives of Himself abundantly.\
We are given the proven solution for these battles of that rage within each of us. You must daily submit yourself to God. Submitting means that God’s will comes before yours. God’s desires and passions need to be your first order of business. Next we must resist the devil. Easy said, but how do you do it. First of all tell him no. When you are tempted "Just Say No." You must also turn from temptation. You know what your hot buttons are and so does Satan. If you are tempted by lust, then stay away from those things that open the door for you to be tempted. And we receive such a great promise. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." When you don’t give in...satan gives up, it was proven to us during Jesus’ encounter with satan in the wilderness. Remember as Christian, God is in control. Satan has no power over you, unless you allow him to have power.
We are also reminded that when we get close to God, that He will get close to us. Here are some tips to get closer to God.
1. Cleanse yourself by removing all the grime of sin. Start by cleansing your hands, if you are letting your hands draw you to sin, stop immediately.
You know it is time to cleanse when your life is more characteristic of the devil than God.
2. You must cleanse the heart. Psalm 32 gives us a great play by play to making this happen. Don’t give blanket "I’m sorry’s" but instead confess your sins one by one.
The key is to come to a point of true repentance. True repentance is more than saying I’m sorry. It involves a deep brokenness of our sin. We should be grieved and remorseful of the pain our sin causes to God. A key to a repentant spirit is humility. Be willing to humble yourself before God. Remember He is the master potter and His specialty is rebuilding broken vessels. The vessel God rebuilds is always much better than the original vessel. God fortifies those He rebuilds.
As you go through this week realize that this challenge will be issued to you: "Choose this day whom you will serve...."