The Book of James Chapter 4 Part 1

James 4:1-8

If we do not put Biblical principles into practice in our lives we are going to be weak spiritually, and will be easily manipulated by the enemy.

v1: When we are committed to what our flesh wants (what seems right in our own eyes), and we pursue our own objectives rather than G-d’s, it is going to result in conflict. Individuals with selfish desires are going to be in conflict with people who also have their own selfish desires. If, however, we are committed to the purposes of G-d, and are committed to the other person, then G-d will be able to bring unity into the situation.

v2: When we are ruled by our desires we become an instrument controlled by the enemy.

· Murder – When we pursue what we want instead of ministering life to others we are going to be ministers of death in their lives. There will be no fruitfulness.

· Covet – Have envy or jealousy – desiring what someone else has and taking action to obtain it.

· Cannot obtain – frequently the enemy (the father of lies and deceit) puts these unachievable desires in us as he wants us to live a life of frustration because those desires are often impossible to obtain. satan doesn’t want us to experience joy or contentment.

· This all leads to strife.

It is extremely problematic when we pursue what we want, and we do so without asking G-d. This does not mean that G-d is going to give us whatever we want, we only have to ask for it.

1 John 5:14-15 – we need to find out what G-d’s will is for our lives and ask according to that.

v3: G-d’s not going to give us something that is evil (amiss), something that is in contrast to His will for our lives. Why? Because G-d gives that which is good. His will is the best thing for us.

· Spend it – squander or waste it. When the prodigal son got his inheritance (Luke 15:11-32) instead of using the money wisely he squandered it on ungodly living. The same principle is being alluded to here. When we pursue our own interests, apart from the revelation and guidance of G-d, we are going to act in an evil manner (ie in conflict with the will of G-d). Be careful not to squander the remaining time, the resources etc that G-d has given to you. If you are reading this then there is still time for you to use them to bring glory to G-d and to be a blessing to others.

v4: In prophecy adultery, more often than not, is a term used to refer to idolatry. This is referring to those who turn away from truth and are deceived by false religious principles (ie

those things which are not rooted in the Word of G-d). They are unfaithful and do not display fidelity to the Word of G-d.

· We cannot have it both ways – if we are a friend to the world we cannot be a friend to G-d, and vice versa. Be concerned, committed, passionate and dedicated to the Kingdom of G-d – not the cult of climate change 😉.

v5: Many people act as though the Scripture is just empty words – written in vain.

· The Spirit who dwells in us – the Holy Spirit of Messiah Yeshua.

· Yearns jealously – when we are pursuing the things of this world, making ourselves a friend of this world, the Spirit of G-d, dwelling within us, is envious. Why? Because He (knowing what is good for us) wants our attention. He wants us to be committed to where He’s leading, His illumination.

v6: This verse reveals to us the solution to the problem above – He gives more grace.

· G-d resists (opposes) the proud [He is not going to be involved in their lives in a beneficial manner], but gives grace to the humble – one of the things that we need to realize is that there are actions that if we do them G-d will bring about a result.

If someone puts a stumbling block in front of someone and they do not see it we know that they are going to fall. This is a physical law, a law of nature. Cause and effect. Same principle is at play here. When we are humble G-d gives us more grace – it is a spiritual law. Grace doesn’t only save us, but it also brings about a change in our lives (Titus 2:11-14)

v7: Submit – Surrender everything. Allow G-d to have total control in your life. This is wise. Here is another spiritual principle: As we submit, in this way, to G-d we automatically set ourselves up to be in opposition to the devil. This causes him to flee from us! Pride leads to deception, but humility leads to G-dly insight and wisdom.

v8: This verse reveals to us what resisting the devil looks like.

· Draw near to G-d – practically this is achieved by reading and studying the Word and by praying. These are sacrifices we make to Him. Acts of obedience and faithfulness to Him. Obedience doesn’t save us, but it draws us deeper into the presence of G-d. When we draw near to G-d we are going to be convicted and want to get rid of those things in our lives that ought not to be there.

· He will draw near to you – He will be active in our lives as we seek to be active in His.

· Cleanse your hands – when we draw near to G-d we begin to desire to live lives that are clean, pure, holy.

· Purify your heart – heart is related to thoughts. We need to think in a pure way. Pure thoughts.

· Doubleminded – having a soul that is divided. A double minded man has a desire for both G-dliness and sinfulness. They think both ways. When this is the case the way of the world will dominate the way of the Kingdom. A double minded man will receive nothing from G-d (James 1:6-8)

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