Birds of a Feather: Study Notes on James 4:4-6

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. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:4-6 NASB

God is a jealous God and wants our whole heart. This is proclaimed throughout the Old Testament. God is faithful to us and it pains Him when we are not faithful to Him. My sin puts enmity between me and God. And yet, “He gives a greater grace”. In His infinite love and desire for me He woos me back again and again. I must let go of the temptations that pull me away and turn toward the lover of my soul. I can feel the jealous pull in my heart when I give my affections to other things that betray my commitment to God. The Holy Spirit wants full reign of my heart and as long as I let the emptiness of false lovers take up space, I will struggle for peace in my life.

It is good for me to be a friend to the world, offering the grace and love of God. But being a friend of the world is where the warning comes in. Makes me think of the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”. Friends do what friends do, generally speaking. It is not about judgment when choosing friends but rather being wise in those friendships. I want the grace of God more than approval from the world. I struggle with hypocrisy here. Sometimes the way I act or things I say do not reflect what I believe in my heart. And here is where God wrecks me over and over with His merciful kindness and grace. I am floored by His love and am ever so grateful that He will not walk away from me when I come crawling back for forgiveness. He gives more than any human ever could. His is the unconditional, forever kind of love I truly desire.

Lord, Your gift of grace upon grace is beautiful to me. Thank You for Your fountain of forgiveness. Help me to be kind to people and yet remain a faithful friend of Yours without compromise. Strengthen my fidelity to You. Bring me friends who are faithful to You who will walk with me as I journey through this life towards Eternity. I want to finish well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

But as for me, your strength shall be my song of joy. At each and every sunrise, my lyrics of your love will fill the air! For you have been my glory-fortress, a stronghold in my day of distress. Psalm 59:6 TPT

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