Strife or peace
The Apostle James just gets finished writing the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. He then goes back to the negative or the bad side of what could happen if confusion and every evil work is in a given family structure whether it be family, social, church, work or one to one relationships. He says sometimes wars and fighting take place and it is primarily because of the lusts that is in our members. At this point the Apostle expands on this biblical principle. He says you lust and have not, ye kill and desire to have but can not obtain, ye fight and war yet ye have not because ye ask not but James goes deeper into this precept. The Apostle says ye ask and receive not because oftentimes we ask amiss but he adds that ye may consume it upon your lusts or pleasures. If this is complicated language for you I promise to make it very simple.
James continues with some pretty strong language by saying ye adulterers and adulteresses don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? If we are a friend of the world we are enemies with God or unfaithful to Him. I will explain this principle deeper after I quote the original text.
The Apostle James reminds them that the Scriptures are not in vain and sometimes the spirit that that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make referance to it in this particular study of the Bible.
(1) "From whence come wars and fighting among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts at 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) and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that 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?" James 4: 1 - 5.
The biblical precept that James is trying to get across is if we lust after worldly things division is inevitable but sometimes it can be taken to a level that is a shameful height. If this does happen Jesus Christ is not even close to be found for all practible purposes in that group. The Apostle James explains to these Jewish Christians why their wars were taking place and the causes of their lusts. The reason for their battles was not love for country and honoring God because there were negative Godly lusts in them that were causing them to sin. We need to examine if we have true zeal for God or pride. If the latter is the case we will battle inside ourselves with lust and more than likely fight on the outside. We can have lust for power, pleasure or riches but when they come to the surface as Christians we are contributing to the contentions that are in the world. The only way to solve the problem through Jesus Christ is to mortify those lusts that are in our members.
These desires will be disappointed if we say no but so will we because our flesh is so used to having the sin / sins fulfilled. We should not appease or satisfy these transgressions just because we want our void filled through desire because the Bible offers a better way through righteousness in and through Jesus Christ. We can make sure our worldly or fleshly lusts are satisfied but (I don't mean to repeat the same word) we will never be satisfied. We will have to keep committing the same sin over and over again because lust always desires more. If we have this affection for a transgression and keep committing the sin / sins then we will generally opt not to pray to God. That is why James writes you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. If we do not consult God in what we do and do not make a decision to commit our ways to Him then we will follow our own corrupt ways and inclinations to sin. What the Apostle is saying is our lusts will spoil our prayers.
There are all kinds of sins such as sensuality, pride or bitterness but they hinder our prayers. My advise is to first repent in the most sincere way you know how to because that is a start in the right direction. If we just pray without getting our sins right our devotion toward God will be hindered, not to mention we dishonor Jesus Christ and as a result our prayers are rejected. In this particular case we would be asking God for success in what we are doing but it would not be because we want to glorify Jesus Christ or to do Godly good. To the contrary we would consume our growth with the lusts of sin. Remember Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could be forgiven not so we can prosper in our transgressions.
When we as believers in Christ are not to hasty in our prayers that could be good in many cases because we might ask God for something amiss. In this case we would not be petitioning God for the right issues in the proper manner. When our prayers become our lusts then the grace of God will return empty to us for our souls.
We are warned by James to avoid all friendships with the world because we will become earthly minded in our life. This without devotion to Jesus Christ is enmity to God. A person can be wealthy and keep himself in the love of God but it is an entirely different thing to set the world on the throne of our hearts. This is why James writes whosoever therefore is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. If we have an adulterous, idolatrous love of this world of course there are going to be wars and fighting on the outside. What is inside of us must come out on the outside. We can not have peace with people if we have enmity towards God.
If we are corrupt there will be a lust to envy and we will always desire more but devotion to Jesus Christ gives us closure in love of God. It is not that the world will not give us position and pleasure but according to this passage we will fall into strife and quarrels just by the mere fact that we are friends with worldly desires because the two go hand in hand. If you desire to avoid contentions then make a decision not to be friends with the world. God gives more grace than the world not to even mention the fact that the people of this earth can turn on us at any moment. They can not even guarantee us tomorrow.
If we feel we are falling into this trap the grace of God can correct a worldly spirit but we must make a decision to give our devotion to Jesus Christ. We can not stay in the middle because the lusts of earthly desires are to strong. These impulses naturally dwell in us but God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit will give us His Spirit of love which is the opposite of the world.
If you do not know the Lord in a personal way now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God in your life. If you do not make this choice then your only option is to be worldly and have earthly sinful desires. It is only when we have Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives that the grace of God dwells in us so we will not have to be immersed in sin. Of course there are different levels of this lifestyle but with the help of the Triune Godhead our path down here on earth will be righteous. The decision is up to you and I hope and pray people reading this article will make the right choice.
God Bless you,