SUMMARY: Maturity hurdles
OVERVIEW: James makes it clear that if we want to grow spiritually, we must avoid selfishness (1-3), worldliness (4), pride (5-10), slander (11-12), and arrogance (13-17).
BIG IDEA: Be friends with God, not the world.
KEY VERSE: James 4:8 (James’ instructions)
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I want to be your friend. That’s more than a cliche. It’s an invitation to a changed life. The world dangles so many temptations that shine and are aromatic and embraced by those you know or want to know. But when you latch on to one of those temptations, you are pushing me aside. I am not demanding that you be perfect. I want you to recognize what is happening in the spirit world when you say “yes” to temptation and “no” to me.
You can always turn back to me. I give grace to the humble. When you come close to me, I will come close to you. But don’t live life on a yo-yo where you go back and forth between the world and me. It’s exhausting for you and causes me to question your sincerity. Humble yourself before me. Recognize you need me and let me lead you. Stop worrying about tomorrow and all that consumes you. Be faithful today. Right now. At this moment. Trust me today and live.
Pause at least 3-4 times throughout the day to pray. Be still and ask God to search your heart. Is there anything you need to confess? Any fear you need to give to God? Are you anxious about a meeting or a conversation or a project? Remind yourself to be humble before God and to stay close to God and his ways.