Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Midweek Grace - James 4:1-10
Stop acting like children!! How many times have we heard or said that to those who ought to know better? How many times have parents broken up fights over toys, games, candy or whatever? On a certain level, we understand that young children will act selfishly immature with the things they want or see. We must teach our children to not snatch things that aren‘t theirs, to refrain from hitting others and to learn the value of sharing. Wise parents recognize that not everything children want is good for them. A parent who gives his child everything he asks for whenever he asks for it will produce a selfish, entitled brat.
If we know this is true about our own children then why don’t we apply these principles to ourselves? Why don’t we realize that our sinful nature is still battling for control over our lives? Why can’t we see that everything we want isn’t necessarily good for us? How is it that we fall so easily into the materialistic traps our consumer driven culture creates for us? If that wasn’t enough, why don’t many who claim to follow biblical Christianity see how their corrupt version of the faith is exactly what the apostle James (who by the way was an authentic apostle) wrote against (cf. James 4:1-10)?
James 4:1-10 is an excellent diagnosis of the actual issues that affect so many of us. He begins by acknowledging the real spiritual war we face, which is the battle with our old nature. Our old nature wants to pull us back into a habitual lifestyle of foolish and destructive sinful choices. It wants us to chase after each new trinket and idea in a vain attempt to find real life. What’s so dangerous about this warfare is that we can actually believe that it’s God’s will for us to have whatever we want! Motivated by our own greed and covetousness we go to the Lord in ‘prayer’ demanding that He give us what we want right now. When He (like a good heavenly Father) doesn’t respond to our demands we become angry and competitive with those in our church.
James correctly identifies the root issue as one of spiritual adultery. Those who’ve bought into this way of living demonstrate their desire to be on friendly terms with this world. For them, this world is the place to satisfy all their deepest wishes, even if those wishes are contrary to God’s revealed will. Dear ones we cannot worship two masters. We cannot give our souls to both this world and our Lord Jesus Christ. Either we will live to get all we can out of this world, or we will follow the agenda of our Lord as we live for the world to come.
It’s time for us to grow up, stop acting like two year olds and focus our souls on drawing near to the only One who gives true life, Jesus Christ. It’s time for us resist our old nature, Satan and the forces of the world and live out genuine Biblical Christianity. It’s time for us to repent of our spiritual adultery, and stop loving this world with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds and all of our strength. It’s time for us to stop acting like children.
To Him Who Loves Us…