James 4: 1-10 Read with me: ” What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. Your are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’ So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 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. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”


Now, I’d like to share the footnotes for verses 3 – 6: “There is nothing wrong with wanting a pleasurable life. God gives us good gifts that he wants us to enjoy. But having friendship with the world involves seeking pleasure at others’ expense or at the expense of obeying God. Pleasure that keeps us from pleasing God is sinful; pleasure from God’s rich bounty is good. The cure for evil desires is humility. Pride makes us self-centered and leads us to conclude that we deserve all we can see, touch, or imagine. It creates greedy appetites for far more than we need. We can be released from our self-centered desires by humbling ourselves before God, realizing that all we really need is his approval. When the Holy Spirit fills us, we see that this world’s seductive attractions are only cheap substitutes for what God has to offer.”

Why does our flesh at times yearn for the sensual fleshly desires? It is addiction? Do we like cheap thrills so much that we think we can get away with it? Or, at least enjoy the desire for one more time before we might give it up? Governor Sanford, of SC, after being caught in an adulterous affair asked his wife, “can I go and visit my mistress?” Jenny Sanford told the AP she learned about the affair in January when she came across a copy of a letter her husband wrote his mistress. In later months, her husband asked several times to visit the other woman, requests she denied, the first lady said, “It’s one thing to forgive adultery; it’s another thing to condone it,” she told AP during an exclusive interview soon after the governor revealed the affair.” And, without her knowledge, he did go!”

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