September 05, 2022 – Monday
James 4:5-6 NIV
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely?
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34
The book of James is often called Practical Christianity with much of it made up of quotes from Proverbs as they would apply to the Christian life as noted here and here. Being aware of this gives us our first insight into the verses above.
Consider the verse that precedes the verses above, 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. When James calls them adulterous people he was speaking of their covetousness as a form of adultery contrary to the covenant they had with Jesus. Their friendship with the world resulting literally in enmity against God and becoming an enemy of God. That was then and is something that continues to this day as something we as Christians must ever be aware of – are we choosing the values of the world over the covenant we have with Jesus. Know that friendship with the world does not mean you cannot enjoy life, but it does mean not to be choosing the desire of the eye, and the pride of life, yielded to, to gain the favour of carnal and worldly men; or a conformity to such in their sinful courses, in order to gain their friendship (Benson Commentary).
This is why we have in the next verse, 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely? We likely feel this often when the indwelling spirit lets us know when we are choosing poorly for the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely. That is why we feel the conflict from time to time so intensely when we choose to sin against Him.
What happens when we do screw up? As verse six says, He gives us more grace! God gives us more unmerited favor so that we will have greater ability to resist friendship with the world and more ability to listen to the good instruction of the Holy Spirit. The way James states this, when we succeed in resisting friendship with the world we should not be patting ourselves on the back, but instead we should be giving credit to God for making this possible for us.
The verse ends quoting Proverbs 3:4, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Are you too proud to ask for help from God with your sins? Or are you humble enough to ask for His help? Want that additional grace, God’s favor? Then get rid of any pride you have keeping you from asking for His help.
Bottom Line: Life is made up of choices we make day by day. We need to choose wisely when it concerns what God would want for us and from us when we make our choices.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for the promise of additional grace when we need help to make better choices in our lives, so we may choose you over the values of the world. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton