As Christians, we have to live in this world, but we are not to live of this world; we are to avoid all sin in any form. Just because we are human and we'll never be completely Christ like, it should not keep us from living a separated life. - A few simple thoughts without theology.
Simple Thoughts Without Theology
Living a Separated Life
James 4:1-3 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 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. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
What is my motive in the prayers that I pray? Am I really wanting the Lord's will in a situation or am I just being selfish? I need to make sure that I'm not being selfish when praying.
James 4:4-5 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
I can't live in the world and be of the world. To truly love the Lord, I have to live a separated life. I must love Him and allow His love to be shown through me. Do I really believe the words in the Bible? The words were not written, just so I could skim through them. They are the precious words of God, and they were written so I could read them, believe them, and follow them.
James 4:6-10 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Resist the devil and he will flee is a lot easier said then done. I can't resist Satan without submitting to God first. I can't fight Satan on our my own. Only with the Lord's help will Satan leave me alone. If I am willing to draw near to God, He will draw closer to me. I want God's grace on me, all I have to do is humble myself before Him.
James 4:9-10 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
How can I draw near to God, when there is sin in my life? The sin may not be as "bad" as murder or adultery, but what about the television program or the music I find myself humming or singing? I have sin all around me and most of the time, I don't even blink an eye at it. I need to really take hold of myself and see ALL sin as what it is ~ SIN. I need to humble myself and seek the Lord, so He can lift me up above the mess that is around me.
James 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
I remember a school teacher explaining to my class in about the 7th or 8th grade, that when we talk badly about someone, we are talking badly about God's handiwork. A sentence that has stuck with me since, and it is a sentence that I quoted quite often when teaching school. Think about it, God's work is perfect. Although a person is not perfect, what God created is. How can I judge someone for what they look like or for what they have done, when I am no better than them? The Bible specifically tells us not to do it! God's the only one who can do the judging.
James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
I can make all the plans I want. There is nothing wrong with planning. In fact, I think it is good to make plans. Instead of being a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of person all the time. When planning, there is a "but" to the process. Just because we make those plans, doesn't mean they will come about. Looking at verse 14 is very thought provoking. Our life ~ many or blessed with an extremely long life, while others are not. God says that our lives are as just a vapor - here one moment, gone the next. When I plan for my future, I need to keep in mind ~ IF THE LORD ALLOWS IT.
James 4:16-17 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
It's a sin brag. I for one, do not like to be around people that brag about something all time. I'll be seen running from a person who says, "I'll do this, if it's the last thing I do." I'm not going to be anywhere near that person when the streak of lightning comes down and the clap of thunder sounds. I can't stand to hear "if it is the last thing I do." You know what, you may get your wish. When we are faced with the decision about doing something that we know is right and we don't do it ~ it's a sin. No matter what that decision is, we need to make sure that doing the right thing is a priority.
If you missed the previous posts for Simple Thoughts Without Theology you can find James 1,James 2 , James 3 at these links. Join me next week when I continue Simple Thoughts Without Theology in the fifth chapter of James.