1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:1-6 ESV
I. The Confusion Over Pleasure
A. The legitimacy of pure pleasure. (Psalm 16:9-11)
B. The licentiousness of prioritizing pleasure.
II. The Conflict of Pleasure
A. The sinner’s nature within us is at war with the spiritual newness within us, making us in conflict with ourselves.
B. Our pursuit of pleasure puts us in conflict with others because they are in our way and must be dealt with for us to be happy.
III. The Consequences of Poor Prioritization of Pleasure
A. If we indulge the sinful nature without battling it, we set ourselves up as the enemies of God who have lost fellowship with God.
B. By pursuing pleasure above all else we befriend the enemy of God and make ourselves His enemy as well.
C. The jealousy of God will not allow His people to just walk away from Him. (Romans 8:7-8)
IV. The Compassion of God on Phonies
A. If we will humble ourselves over our sinful prioritizing of pleasure, we will find God gracious. (Romans 5:20)
Next Week: The Truth about Submission James 4:7-10