By Patrick Hawthorne
I am fascinated by James 4:5 which points out, “Do ye think that the scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?” Actually the King James Version says, “…The Spirit who lusts to envy.” It is the, “lusts to envy,” part that leads me to stop and ponder for a bit.
“Why, Patrick?” you might ask. “Why would that verse, among other verses, stand out as so monumental that you would stop and write about it? After all, we are talking about lust and envy, ya know? Those can’t be good things.”
If my made up and purely imaginary questions serve to peak your interest, please allow me to elaborate. The Greek word for lust in this verse is, “epipotheo,” which can be defined as a longing desire or an eagerness to possess or enjoy. While the word, ‘lust’ in today’s vernacular usually stirs up connotations associated with strong sexual desire, this is not the type lust the Holy Spirit has for us. His lust is an intense desire, a jealousy, to keep us from the draw of the world.
You see…So many have watered down the grace of God to such an extent that God is often presented as a push-over. In my mind, some have likened Him to a weak knee boy who sits in the corner watching as the school jock – the world – makes a move on his girl. If you don’t mind me going southern for a minute, I have to say, “God ain’t no weakling and He ain’t no push-over. God is not going to turn a blind eye as we play patty cake with the world.”
While I am not a huge fan of The Passion Translation, I do like the simplicity in which these verses are written. “4 You have become spiritual adulterers who are having an affair, an unholy relationship with the world. Don’t you know that flirting with the world’s values places you at odds with God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy!5 Does the Scripture mean nothing to you that says, “The Spirit that God breathed into our hearts is a jealous Lover who intensely desires to have more and more of us”?
If you are a born-again child of God and have pondered the thought of dipping your big toe into the worlds swimming pool just remember that the Holy Spirit will not let you go without a fight. Every time you think you have sufficiently out run the Holy Spirit, He will tap you on the shoulder and say, “Every move you make, I will be watching you.” Be blessed.