Avoiding Worldly Indulgence
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. James 4:1-2 (NASB)
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Have you ever been in one of those mob scenes with people wanting a specific item? I am always amazed at what some people will do to get a toy for their child, or a flat screen television. It is very sad that some people have even lost their lives in pursuit of these things. There is really nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but when things become the reason for the Christmas season, there is a problem.
This is one aspect of what James calls worldly indulgence. Worldly indulgence is a huge problem, even for Christians. We must always be checking for how influenced we have become by the world and its systems. We do not want to be so tied into the world that we become like the world. We must live in the world but it is not our home.
Communication is one area of worldly indulgence. The desires that drive our communication are often sinful. We ask for things with wrong motives; wanting pleasures as status symbols or for purposes of coveting. When we want something to satisfy a lust, God calls us adulterers and adulteresses. I think many of us form too much friendship with the world. Sometimes it is not that our desires are wrong, but they are not as important as what Gods desires are for us. James warns us about forming an alliance with the world or becoming in league with the worldly system. We must say “no” to the world so we do not become an enemy of God (James 4:4). If we say yes to the world and no to God, we have chosen the wrong side and failed this test of genuine faith. We must remember that the Spirit of God within us yearns jealously.
We must fight against these worldly influences by actively resisting the devil and submitting humbly to God (James 4:5 – 10). We are to resist the devil and draw near to God. We are to lament and weep before God and He will lift us up. It is not for us to promote ourselves. It is God’s place to promote us and raise us up.
One area where many women consistently fail is in speaking evil of one another. We are warned in many places in God’s Word against judging one another and speaking evil of each other. These two behaviors are certainly worldly, yet it happens all the time in our churches. This should not be!
I am more grieved than ever about the worldliness I see among Christian women. We must repent! We are to draw near to God instead, seeking Him and His holiness and doing the things He wants us to do. We must not befriend the world and its philosophy of life which says that these kinds of behaviors are acceptable. This world is not our home; our citizenship is in heaven. I pray God moves in the hearts of His women and brings us to repentance and change; for His glory and our good.