Bible Reading: James 4
Have you ever gotten swamped in the intensity of a really competitive event? There are all these tensions swinging and bouncing around; everyone is looking for how to outdo those on the other side of the competition. Tactics are drawn up, strategies are planned and skills are fine-tuned.
But as a summary, you work with your teammates against your opponents.
If all of life and the details and tensions of our pursuits were to be placed under the light, James is strongly encouraging us today to make sure we are partnering as teammates with God, and not opposing God.
You really don’t want to be an opponent of God, do you? In our reading today, James demonstrates a few ways we can set ourselves against God:
- Don’t set yourself against God by self and selfish desires (v 1 –5 )
- Don’t set yourself against God by pride (v 6-10)
- Don’t set yourself against God by opposing His standards (v 11-12)
- Don’t set yourself against God by placing your confidence in self (v 13-17)
I really want to live this year in tune with God. I don’t want to be in opposition to God. James gives us a hint on how to approach that:
Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind James 4:8 CEV
As we continue spending these days to seek God, it’s a beautiful picture of coming near to God and seeing Him come near to us. Make sure that in your context, this season and all your effort is constantly carrying the weight of a cleaning up, stronger faith and more intense focus. Side with God!
If you think about it, whatever it takes to side with God is absolutely and totally worth it! It doesn’t cost me; it pays me.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10 NLT