In James Chapter 4, the apostle of Christ wrote about the origins of war, lust, and life’s uncertainties. He pondered why people lust and fight over things and still are unable to have them. He claimed that the reason that the people he was writing to did not have what they wanted was because they either did not ask for it or they asked for the wrong thing to simply satisfy their lust.
Drawing Closer to God
James said that people cannot love the world and love God at the same time. He reminded them that the Scriptures claim that the flesh is full of lust and envy, but God has abundant grace and will always give it to people who practice humility. At the same time, God will shun people who are proud.
James exhorted his readers to submit to God and to oppose the devil because if they do, the devil will run away from them. Instead, he wanted people to draw closer to God and cleanse both their minds and their bodies of sin. If they stop their revelry and become humble, James said that God would draw near to them.
Guidelines on How to Treat Others
James also told his readers to not speak ill of each other. A person who speaks ill of his brother and harshly judges him is judging the law and taking the place of God, who is the ultimate giver of the law.
The Unpredictable Future
James also warned those who were certain of their lives. He said nobody can be certain of what will happen to them in the future because they are not in control. He reminded his readers that their lives are temporary and dependent on the will of God. James then told his readers that to revel and boast the way they do was evil and to know what good is and to not do it is a sin.
James 4 (King James Version)
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.