What Does James 4:4 Mean?

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:4(ESV)

Verse Thoughts

These are pretty tough words for any believer to receive from an author of the God-breathed scriptures but nonetheless they are contained within the canon of holy writ and need to be explored with an open heart, that is not hiding behind a self-righteous exterior.

James the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, like the apostle Peter, had a ministry to Jewish believers in Christ – in the early church, and this epistle is addressed to Christians from the 12 tribes of Israel, who are dispersed throughout the world. He is writing words of encouragement in the trials and temptations that they are facing. He longs that they live a life that is pleasing to God. He also desires that they not only know - but reflect the godly character of Christ in their daily lives, while giving them some severe warnings against ungodly living. He urges against exhibiting favouritism and forewarns them to be careful in the things that they say, as well as the things that they do, knowing that true wisdom and godly living comes from above.

As James reaches the middle of His epistle to his brethren in Christ, he voices some very severe warnings against pride, worldliness and intimacy with the world’s system, which is diametrically opposed to righteous living and the things of God. His admonishment concludes with this searing accusation, You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

These are pretty tough words for any believer to receive from an author of the God-breathed scriptures, but in the next verse the same Holy Spirit, Who dwells within each one of us, is seen yearning jealously over us – for His desire is to make all believers more and more like the lovely Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God longs to shower grace and more grace over all that submit to His leading, humility of heart.

Let us search our hearts, and in the power of the Spirit of God, let us turn from any worldly ways that we know must grieve the Holy Spirit that indwells our heart. Let us expel all pride and ungodly lusts that can creep into a heart that becomes enamoured with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the world and the pride of life - and let us in humility of spirit earnestly draw near to God, knowing that He died --- to draw near to us.

My Prayer

Loving Father, I confess that I am too easily drawn into worldly thinking, which I know grieves the Holy Spirit. Keep my humble of heart before You, knowing that this is Your will for my life, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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