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What is worldliness?
James deals with several questions in chapter 4: #1 What is worldliness? #2 How does a Christian fight the Devil? #3 What is your life? All of these will go back to the subject of worldliness.
What is worldliness? There is no simple answer to the question. James will give what I think is a very definitive answer. James says that worldliness is strife and envy. We need to go back to chapter 3 to pick up his thoughts. James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (KJV)
Faith is a major topic with James. James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (KJV) TRUE faith is being meek or humble, and humility means submission to God.
James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (KJV) . . . That is worldliness. And it is worldliness in the churches that have produced all the cults, denominations, factions, divisions and elite gangs which have risen and abound in the church today. All this is "devilish" or demonic (Jam.3:15), which is absolutely horrible, my friend.
What do envy and strife produce in this world? They produce "confusion and every evil work."
James 4:1-4 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 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. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 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. (KJV)
In chapter 3, James spoke against fights, since they come from envy, and urged us to have a Godly wisdom. Now he continues.
Beware of any delight in sin, when acts of uncleanness or thoughts of revenge are sweet to you, or when you take proud pleasure of your honor and greatness in the world. These things to a TRUE believer should be a burden, NOT a pleasure. It is sad when a child of God rejoices to do evil.
In a TRUE child of God, the war is between sin and grace, between worldly counsel and Godly wisdom. These battles are within our menbers (Rom.6:13). James means the strong desire of the will against the knowledge of the truth.
Selfish desires lead to fights and war. The spirit of strife is worldliness; it is not Christian, and it is not the Christian way to do things. These represent the old nature. A person must be regenerated by faith in Christ and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:9).
James is describing the spirit of the world. When the spirit of the world gets into the church, you have a worldly church.
Yet ye have not because ye ask not . . . our desires should be taken to the Lord in prayer. When we do this, He will either say "yes" or "no" or "wait a while." We need to accept the answer we receive from Him. What is the cure for worldliness? PRAYER! It is in reality, faith in God. 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (KJV)
When you feel strife and envy in your heart, talk to the Lord about it. Tell God all that is in your heart, unload to Him! Tell Him your troubles, that He may give you comfort and strength, tell Him your joys, that He may rejoice with you; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you to conquer them; tell Him of your temptations, that He may help you overcome them. Admit the truth about any malicious thoughts, depraved tastes for evil, and your instability. He knows all this, but He wants to hear from you. (Heb.4:13; 1 Jn.3:20).
We have NOT because we ask NOT! Many do not use the right way of prayer. IF your prayer demands worldly ends, it will NOT be heard!
The supposed prayers of worldly desire are not prayers in God's eyes or ears! He will NOT hear (Ps.66:18; Isa.1:15; 58:9; Jn. 9:31). When we ask for anything "worldly" our request will be met with a divine denial. With God, Spiritual sighs and whisperings are heard rather than loud, worldly roars. If our prayers are not directed to God's glory, there is little hope that when we receive the answer, we shall use it to glorify the Master.
Most people commit sin and then want God to bless them in it. It is bad enough that we are servants of sin (Jn.8:34; Rom.6:16-20), but we should not make God an accessory to our sin. Let us not come to God with an evil mind! Holy desires are answered (Ps.1017; 145:19), but wanting evil desires are asking amiss!
Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? . . . when people try to please their friends, they become friends of the world for they try to please worldly people and worldly desires. There are many ways that we can use things of the world but we must NOT seek friendship with it. People who want the world's friendship, lose Jesus' friendship (Gal.1:10). It is the same with satisfying worldly desires. We cannot serve the Lord when we serve our own evil lusts and pleasures (Tit.3:3).
Any time that you please the world, you wage war against the Lord, and openly defy the Lord of hosts. The love of God and desire to obey Him declines, and things of the world take over your heart (Rom.8:7). You not only withdraw your heart from God . . . you oppose Him. He becomes your enemy! We CANNOT serve two masters (Mat.6:24). Covetousness and Christianity are irreconcilable.
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God . . . IF you CHOOSE to be a friend of the world, you are God's enemy! Whoever chooses to be a friend of the world is a worldly person (1 Tim.6:9). People who lust for riches fall into great temptation (Pro.23:4; 28:20). A TRUE Christian must remain true to the Lord with ALL their heart (Mat.22:37; Mk.12:30; Lu.10:25-28; Ac.11:23). Worldliness makes a person hate God and be hated by God. Serving the Lord will either make us very weary of the world, OR the world will make us weary of duty. Obedient children of God experience the first one, and hypocrites experience the other.
Wickedness all around us! Wickedness is worsening continually, just as it did in the days before the Flood!
Noah, As it Was in His Day
Noah, As it Was in Lot's Day
Noah, Building the Ark
Noah, End Times, What Happens
Noah, Fallen Angels, Worldly Women
Noah, Dire Warning to USA
Noah, Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord
Noah, God Spared Not the Angels
Noah, God tells of Coming Judgment
Noah, Homosexualituy Forbidden by God
Noah, Homosexuals and Saving Grace
Noah, Homosexuals and the Bible
Noah, Homosexuals, God Gave Them Up!
Noah, Increase of Wickedness
Noah, Male and Female!
Noah, Millennail, After the Tribulation
Noah, End Times, Millennium, then More Judgment
Noah, Satan's Last War!
Noah, On the Ark
Noah, Our living in the Last Days
Noah, Pre-Flood World
Noah, Proof Angels Do NOT Marry
Noah, Punishment for Sin
Noah, Rejection of God's Word
Noah, Sins of Homosexuals
Noah, Sins of Homosexuals, Scriptures
Noah, Sins of the Wicked
Noah, The People Knew Not Until the Flood Came
Noah, Today's Babylon
Noah, What is Worldliness?
Noah, Wickedness of Mankind