James 4

Vs. 8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”  The problems that are addressed in this chapter really stem from selfish disobedience.  It is sad to see brothers & sisters in Christ divided.  James addresses some of the main things that can keep us from God…The flesh (Vs. 1-3), the world (Vs. 4-5), and the devil (Vs. 6-7).  It is important that we examine ourselves to see if any of these three enemies are defeating us.  We have this verse I like to quote at times (Vs. 9) about turning our laughter to sorrow…indeed, there is a time for everything.  We are also warned against pride, criticism, and arrogant self-confidence.  Lot’s of good exhortations to meditate and pray about.

Regarding application…Compromising.  Vs. 4, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God.”  This is not addressing God’s attitude towards us…rather…OUR attitude towards God.  The gap between God and the world is so great…that when we compromise and go towards the world, we unknowingly alienate ourselves from God.  When we compromise, we begin to not realize how bad our sins have become.  Time and time again…we rationalize and compromise the choices we make.  I know, because I did and foolishly thought I was going to be okay.  But for at least 3 years, I unknowingly showed and despised everything that God did for me because I chose the world over Him.  No wonder why James would use such a strong statement as “hatred toward God.”  Compromise = Hatred towards God.  We can’t have our cake & eat it too.  Don’t ever forget…one of the most formidable enemies we will ever face is not Satan…not the world….but OURSELVES!  “I want” “I deserve” “I will” “It’s my life”…when we you realize it’s not about you, it’s what Jesus did for us that gives us life!