James gives it to us pretty straight here. The uneasiness, the unrest, the tortured souls in us all have to do with our meaningless yearnings for earthly desires versus trying to live a life where God is the glorified one, not ourselves.
“A friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God.” Boom. Well, there it is. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to bask in His creation and make our lives the best they can be while we stay on it, but James does say we should be honoring God in all we do while we do it. And, really, how hard is that?
For instance, do I really think I personally triggered all the brain synapses that triggered my fingers to get to typing on this keyboard in order to write this devotional? Do I really think I somehow pulled an I Dream of Jeanie and blinked a knack for writing into existence. No. God has given me this talent, which leads to my enjoyment on earth, which leads to my thanking Him constantly for bestowing the gift upon me. Think about who you’re trying to please: society or God.
And once you get the struggle of “You vs. God” talent portion over with, you need to contend with the “Your wants/desires vs. What other people already have” segment underway. If you’re a little schemer who tries to get at someone else’s good fortune just because you think you deserve it more than they do, you got issues.Eternal issues.
It’s not for you to do anything but pray to God for what you NEED, and if He agrees with you, then you can keep checking out the window everyday because the mailman might be delivering some stuff to you. The catch there is: need. Don’t go praying to win the lotto when all you’re gonna do is buy a boat and a lifetime supply of Twinkies with it. That’s worldy. That’s useless. Trivial. Unwise.
Pray for things you need that will further help your discipleship for God. James tells us that if we do so, that if we turn away from our selfish and evil desires for earthly gain, that God will lift us up. He’s pretty much saying that your life will be hooked up if you stop being a Christian only when it’s convenient.
James also warns us about judging others. Uh oh. I hope everybody in the class is paying attention to that one. I’ve never met a person who didn’t judge others down to the shoes on their feet. And Jesus wore sandals, so yea. James tells us that it’s only for God to judge since He made the law. Everyone else is playing armchair Judge Judy and that is not paying the bills.
Lastly, James hits us up with the warning of when self-confidence tries to outshine God’s plan for us. It is fine to have a plan and march out of the house every single morning with the hopes of getting it done, but we must remember that if God calls you into his office and tells you to take the day off, you’d better take the day off. His plan outweighs our own.
Ask God for guidance in your plans and He will lead you where you need to be going with it.