In The Word
Read: James 4
Things to Avoid
4 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The enemy is always out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). His focus is completely on this mission; he never is at rest from this mission. As children of God, we are the primary targets of the devil’s aim. We Christians continually remind the enemy that he is defeated. That only increases his attacks, because he knows that he cannot get to God.
This places us in a battle. It also means that we need a place to take refuge. We need a safe place to hide as the battle intensifies. Chapter 4 reminds us that God is the refuge we need. If we will submit to God and resist the devil, the enemy will have no power over our lives. When we run to God, when we press into Him, we become eclipsed by Him. But when we resist God’s invitation to draw near, we are venerable to the temptations and attacks of the devil. This is the source of division. When we refuse the invitation of God’s protection, the enemy can then use us to criticize one another and play judge over one another’s lives. All because we resisted God rather than the enemy.
Where do you run when the temptations get heavy? Where do you hide when you are being attacked spiritually? God is offering you an everlasting invitation to press into Him. He is offering to eclipse you in His strength and in His power. Do not resist this invitation. Draw near to Him, and He promises that He will draw near to you (James 4:8).