“The source of quarrels and conflicts … your pleasures that wage war in your members?” (James 4:1) When wars occur between nations often it arises from a lust after an increase for power; from the pride and ambitious views of men, and their envy at the happiness of other princes and states … (John Gill) This is not so unlike how conflicts can arise between individuals as egos, pride, envy, covetousness, and ambition wage war with one another. Similarly, we wage war within our own selves as we war against the law of the mind; the flesh against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. “From this inward war arise external ones; or at least from the corruption of nature, which militates against all that is good, all quarrels and contentions, whether public or private, of a greater or lesser nature, and consequence, spring.”(John Gill)
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (v 4) Strong words, but we need to understand that when we abandon our covenant relationship with the Father in favor of our position with the world, that is betrayal. Putting our egos above the interests of our Father’s Kingdom makes us enemies of God, hostile to our Creator.
As aliens of this world, we’re not playing on the home field, but we shouldn’t being playing their game. When there is conflict in our minds regarding alliances, we are double-minded, unstable, unreliable in our decisions. We need to humbly and remorsefully repent of worldliness. An ally of this world has no lasting benefit, whereas the inheritance we receive from the Creator has an everlasting value.
Next week: James 4:11-17