Scriptures

Not Walking According To The Pattern Of This World

Introduction

‘What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 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. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbour?’ James.4:1-12

The pattern of this world is at variance with the glorious will of God. This is evident in the discourse of Christ with Nicodemus. Christ says in the gospel of John: Light has come into the world, but people love darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil. Christ indeed is the light of the world, but He was rejected and afflicted!

The Jews preferred the criminal, Barabbas to Jesus! They asked for the release of a criminal, but the crucifixion of the sinless Saviour of the world – such is the pattern of the world – injustice and darkness!

In the fourth verse of the fourth chapter of his letter, James asks the question: ‘Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God’. By this verse, James is not suggesting that we should not interact with the people of this world, but that we should not walk according to their ways.

Looking closely at the context, we see that he spoke against fights and quarrels (verse 1); covetousness, fight and quarrel again (verse 2); wrong motives (verse 3); pride (verse 6); double-mindedness (verse 8); and slander (verse 11). Evidently, these are all fashioned after the pattern of this world and God’s people should not walk in these ways.

James enjoins God’s people to ‘submit to God, purify their hearts and humble themselves before the Lord, James 4:7-10. We should walk in consonance with the tenets that characterise the glorious Kingdom of Christ, of which we are a part.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.’ John 3:16-21

Prayer

Most holy God, we are truly thankful for Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice for mankind. May we ever be friends of Jesus by doing what He says and following His glorious example in all things.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

1 Corinthians 10:13

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