God Opposes the Proud

James 4:3-7 - 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.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Nature guides humans toward self-preservation. It wasn’t always this way, but it is the reality in which we currently live in. I believe that before the Fall (original sin), nature itself was fundamentally different both physically and spiritually. Before the Fall, creation was not focused on self-preservation but rather, focused on being in communion (relationship) with the triune God. But sadly, we do not live in that reality any longer. We are stuck in a universe that has been marred by the effects of sin.

Therefore, human nature is all about self-preservation; do what it takes to survive, and if you can survive, then you now have the opportunity to thrive. Making the exciting challenge of existence, to find both the ability and will to survive and thrive in the midst of a world of chaos. Nature is now a place where survival is the challenge and only the strong can survive.
This is what makes following the Lord so contrary to our sinful nature. Our natural passion in this life is self-centered and self-focused (because there is seeming no other option). But this is where the power of the Gospel of Christ comes into play.

Through the Gospel we are set free from our earthly (natural) passions of self-sufficiency and self-interest. That spirit of selfishness is instead replaced with a spirit of love. We are called to not boast in our own ability to survive, but rather, we in humility understand that our survival and thriving comes only through the power of God.

We are not called into friendship with the world, but only friendship with the Lord. When we enter into friendship with the world, God deems it as an adulterous act of infidelity toward Him. His jealousy is not that of human jealousy, but His jealousy is a righteous jealousy; He is hurt when we choose friendship with the world because we are choosing a relationship that is destined to hurt us. He loves us so much, that it pains Him to see us choose poorly.

Our call is to submit unto a perfect and holy God. A God who loves us dearly as a father and as a friend. We no longer have to worry about self-sufficiency or self-preservation, and instead are given the opportunity to thrive in His kingdom through the sacrifice of Christ.

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