Warning against Worldliness: James 4:1-6.
James explains the cause of worldliness and quarrels among Christians. The quarrels that rage between people spring from the evil desires within them. They do not come from heredity and environment but from the carnal desire within the believer. These are the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). Someone has said "We sin because we are not satisfied with Christ". Christians have uncontrolled passion for pleasure because of a wrong motive (4:1-3). Lust and passion can take many forms. They will not give us lasting satisfaction. We pray and do not receive, because our motives are wrong. We ask for things for personal gratification rather than for the glory of God. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart”. We must choose between God and the world (James 4:4). We engage in spiritual adultery by loving God and the world at the same time. Christian life begins with commitment to Christ. Unfaithfulness is repulsive to God. Friendship with the world has many meanings. The world system is under the influence of Satan and it is opposite to God. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Christians can backslide and become worldly. God is not the source of evil (James 1:13-14). God gives us grace to overcome evil (Hebrews 4:16). God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34). Grace is God's love and kindness reaching down to undeserving sinners in Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11). Grace cannot be earned but received by faith (John 1:14). Peace flows from the matchless grace of God (Titus 3:4, 5). No sin is too great for God to forgive, if we humble ourselves before Him.
Warning against proud Attitude: James 4:7-12.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). God's grace is greater than all our sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. We are invited to draw near to the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The seven action words mentioned here explain how we can appropriate God’s grace in our life. First we must resist the devil by submitting to God’s authority. Only those who are willing to humble themselves before God will be exalted. Then we can live a life that is pleasing to God (James 4:7). We resist the devil by not giving into temptations. When we draw closer to God, he will draw closer to us. The more time we spend in the Word of God we are less likely to fail in temptations. “Cleanse your hands your sinners and purify your hearts”. Christians are called to repent sin consistently. Harboring sin in life will give the Devil a foothold in our lives. When they sin they should immediately confess and forsake them (1 John 1:9). We should not be double minded. We do not serve God and the world at the same time. We are in the world but not of this world. Serving God should become the priority in our life (Matt 6:33). We must mourn and weep over our sins. Think less of us and more of God and others. We should cease slandering the brethren. Unity cannot be achieved by speaking evil against one another. He who judges the brother sets himself above the law (4:11). God alone is the true judge. Who are we to judge another? When we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will exalt us to accomplish his purpose through us. Pray that God would help you to have a humble heart and show the areas of pride that need to be addressed in your life.
Warning against Self confidence: James 4:13-17.
Pride is the most dangerous of all sin and the root cause of all evil. There is nothing worse than spiritual pride. Humility is manifested in us when we turn from our prideful sin and entrust ourselves to God. Carnal man disregards God and make his own plans They do not recognize that all good and perfect gifts come from God including the ability to plan for the future (4:13; 1:17). Prideful men consider that they have earned everything and willfully forget about the frailty of life (Psalms 90:9-12). What is our life? It is like a morning fog that is transient and gone in a moment. So stop acting as though we know the future. Our plans and behavior should consistently demonstrate our dependence on God (Proverbs 3:5, 6). We should be mindful of our own moral limitations. Someone has said “The man who brags about future plans and ignores God’s sovereignty is foolish in all his evil ways”. Instead we should say “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”. Boasting shows our arrogance which is evil and overlooks our own failures. Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17). Only God knows our future. So trust your future to God who works all things for his glory and our good (Rom 8:28). When we put the will of God above our own, we will find joy in life.