Willful proud ... Willing humble.

You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” -James 4:4-6 MSG

What comes to your mind when you read the words "the world"? It is a phrase that is often used in Paul's writings as well as here in James. I usually think of the flesh - things that are done apart from God and under our own power. It also reminds me of the war that often wages in my mind telling me not to let myself be "too religious". The phrase "fiercely jealous lover" reminds me that God wants all of me ... not just the religious part that shows up to church on Sunday.

In contrast to the religious life that seems to be able to coexist with a fleshly life, James tells us about living a spiritual life ... a life that has God at it's core. Now I am not implying at all that the spiritual life is one filled exclusively with doing all sorts of "spiritual" things. What I am saying is this sort of life flows from our innermost being and results in a humble life that is filled with love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, temperance, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness.

Help us Lord to begin our days in ways that acknowledge you and cause our hearts to be filled with your presence.

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