I don’t know about you but I am still thinking about the questions from yesterday’s lesson. It’s easy to skim over them but if we want to really transform our relationships with the Lord the way a physical boot camp transforms our bodies, we have to do the tough work. Back to James 4 today.
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. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?
Yesterday we looked at verse 4 but we need to briefly revisit it in order to understand the context of verse 5. When we choose to go the way of the world versus being faithful to the ways of God, we make the Lord jealous. This is not the first time in Scripture the word jealous is used to describe the Lord.
14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
This verse from Exodus reminds us that the Lord is jealous when we choose to worship anything other than Him. When we choose to value the things of the world and the ways of the world, they become idols to us. Our idolatry makes the Lord jealous. He created us and loves us so much. He wants us to love and worship Him and Him alone.
We have all experienced envy or jealousy whether we were envious of what someone else had, their successes or their lifestyle or jealous of the affection someone else is receiving from the one we want to receive affection from. If we don’t keep our jealousy in check, it can consume our thoughts and become the focus of our time and energy. Imagine the Lord’s thoughts, time and energy being focused on His jealousy for you! He desperately wants us to love Him, worship Him and serve Him. He wants our thoughts, time and energy to be focused on His plans for our lives versus our own plans. How does it make you feel to know that the Lord is jealous for your love and devotion?
The other part of verse 5 I want to look at today is “Scripture says without reason”. This part of the verse is questioning what we think about Scripture. Do you think the things in Scripture are just empty words or old words that don’t apply to your life?
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God’s Word is not empty words that have no impact or relevance in our lives. His word is to help us understand Him, our relationship with Him and His purposes for our lives. Sometimes we take His Word for granted because it is so accessible to us. However, we need to cherish His Word and the access we have to it because there are so many people in the world who do not have easy access to it.
Today I want to ask you to really meditate on God’s jealousy over you. Are you giving Him reasons to be jealous? What things in your life might be idols to you that take away your time, energy and attention that belongs to the Lord? Knowing how it feels to be jealous, how do you feel knowing you have made the Lord feel that way? What value does God’s Word have in your life? It’s easy to say it is very valuable, but is it really? How often do you read, study and meditate on His Word? He definitely speaks to His people through His Word, but we won’t hear what He has to say if we don’t open in and engage in it!
- All Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com