In the hard hitting words of James 4:4-12, God calls us to have a total loyalty and allegiance to God. There should be nothing that competes with our love for God! God wants our all, gives his all, and expects our all. We are created by God. We are in a covenant relationship with God.
We are accused, and rightly so, of being an adulterous people. We have cheated on God. We have been unfaithful to the covenant we have with God. We are choosing friendship with the world. And friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God.
God wants our all
God is a jealous God who demands all of us! He is jealous for His people. He wants us to be faithful to Him by being unstained by the world. God wants our all.
God gives His all
God gives us the grace we need to respond to Him, to be His people. God is gracious to us. Grace – That part of God’s nature, His compassionate, acceptance, and generosity to us even though we don’t deserve it. A grace expressed firstly in salvation. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has enabled us to be in right relationship with God. We can be in a covenant relationship with God, friends with God, because of Jesus.
And for those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ, by the grace of God we are given all we need through the empowering and transforming work of the Holy Spirit to be God’s people. To be faithful to God so that we can live and grow in faith and obedience.
On one hand God is a jealous God and demands our all. Demands that we are faithful.
But on the other, God is the gracious provider who gives us the grace we need to be faithful and true to Him.
God expects our
We are called to…
Submit to God / Humble ourselves (vs. 7; 10) We are called to align ourselves under the authority of God. An unconditional surrender to God’s will and ways. Putting God first. Placing ourselves under his lordship and therefore to commit ourselves to obey him in all things. Our greatest example of this? Jesus Christ! Philippians 2:5-8
Resist the devil and draw near to God (vs. 7-8) And we are called to actively stand against the devil. Our power and ability to resist, His grace, is found in drawing near to God. Resisting in the power and provision of God. By coming to God through prayer and reading of His Word we experience His grace.
Repent and purify ourselves (vs.8-9) We need to acknowledge that we are double-minded. We are adulterous. We need to mourn over our sin so that then we can repent of our sin. We need to clean up both our behaviour (‘hands’) and our inner lives (‘hearts’). We need to be regularly repenting of sin and seeking the power and provision of the grace of God.
And the result?
Listen to these words…
…the devil…will flee from you. James 4:7
…God…will come near to you. James 4:8
…the Lord…will lift you up. James 4:10
There is no doubt we can be world-infected Christians.
What is my biggest battle when it comes to worldliness?
Because our God is a jealous God and demands our all. Demands that we are faithful.
But we are not to wallow in despair or guilt but stand on the truth that God is the gracious provider who gives us the grace we need to be faithful and true to Him.
And so submit ourselves totally to God on a daily, or moment by moment basis. We are to adopt His viewpoint and His values and humbling ourselves before Him.
I don’t want your reaction to this message to be guilt driven, but rather grace driven.
But he gives us more grace (not just some, but more). That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.” James 4:6
God wants our all!
God gives His all!
God expects our all!