The Book of James – Pleasure Seekers James 4:1-2

15 Jan



In chapter 3 James described the weapon we all carry, the tongue.  As we enter chapter 4 James turns his attention to the device that fires that weapon, our mind.

Pleasure Seekers

James starts with a question… where does all the fighting and bickering come from?  Envy and strife come from the evil passions we allow inside the mind.  James uses the plural form of the word lust to describe those passions.  When we hear the word “lust” we usually reserve that for only one type of thought.  Lust, as James uses it, is the pursuit of self-serving pleasure.  You can lust after a shiny new sports car thinking it will give you pleasure.  You can lust after a house, a new wardrobe or even a new look.  Lusting after things has one common trait, to give pleasure to self at any expense.  It’s “all about me”.  When we have an “all about me” mindset then envy, strife and hard feelings are not far behind.

Our Sin Nature

Christians have the capacity to do evil.  Salvation does not prevent a Christian from making bad choices.  That is why we have a bible, to teach us how to avoid the evil passions still inside us.  We covered this some time back; we called it the old sin nature.  The closer we stay to God, assembling together, reading His word and praying the easier it is to control these evil passions.  However, when we leave off these things that old sin nature rears its ugly head and we are in danger of making bad decisions.  Wisdom is our best defense so we need to remind ourselves what these evil passions really are and what they can do to us.

Example Time

boy-bicycleIf you are a parent you likely remember telling your children not to play in the street.  Why?  We all know why.  God is trying to do the same thing here but we can be pig headed.  I remember my son saying “it’s easier to ride my bike in the street”. 

When I look back to times when I waved off the warnings and plowed strait into trouble I just shake my head.  What was I thinking?  Heavenly Father, please forgive my stubborn nature and heed your warnings.

Sins Pleasure is Temporary

In verse 2 James saysye lust and have not,desire to have, and cannot obtainandye fight and war, yet ye have not“.  Running after pleasures will never satisfy.  As the verse ends James says those who seek pleasure are looking in the wrong place.

Right here we need to also recognize that sin can have pleasure for a season.  Many choose to sin and enjoy the pleasures of it. However, very soon that little bit of pleasure is replaced with guilt and condemnation.  In the end sin will be bitter.


Until Night,

A Servant


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20 responses to “The Book of James – Pleasure Seekers James 4:1-2

  1. a_l_henley

    January 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Intrepid Didymus and commented:
    “When I look back to times when I waved off the warnings and plowed strait into trouble I just shake my head.  What was I thinking?  Heavenly Father, please forgive my stubborn nature and heed your warnings.”

    • A Servant

      January 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      I am honored. I assume you have “plowed strait into trouble” yourself. I would be ashamed to admit how many times I had.
      A Servant

  2. a_l_henley

    January 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Yes and, unfortunately, I still have trouble with this. I pray for wisdom and conviction frequently. I’ve noticed that by the end of the work day that I am more susceptible to the tricks of the Enemy. I start off the day with the Lord on my mind (I pray as I commute to work) and keep Him there for most of the morning…but my thoughts wane as the day goes on and then by the end of my work day I am feeling like I need to repent. Daily struggles.

    • A Servant

      January 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      In other words… A sinner saved by grace. Every child of God struggles; in fact as you admit to those struggles you show an evidence of salvation. One day the evil one will be vanquished and we will all be free from the old man nature.
      Struggle with a purpose; be resolved!
      A Servant

      • a_l_henley

        January 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Yes, you are correct. 🙂 Thank you for your reassuring words. They blessed me and brought me reassurance and peace.

  3. lessonsbyheart

    January 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    James is a fascinating book. There is so much packed into five little chapters. Thanks for the fresh insights. How thankful I am for my Father who loves me enough to pick me up time and again, dust off my back side and encourage me to try again. He is so faithful to us. 🙂


    • A Servant

      January 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      I absolutely love the no nonsense approach of James. Paul is a challenge sometimes but I hear James the first time.
      Thank you for the comment and likes.
      A Servant

  4. sf

    January 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Very true, Christians have the capacity to do evil. It’s very convicting and even annoying when nonbelievers put Christians on a pedestal and point fingers when Christians have gone down the wrong path in some way. And it’s also something that Christians too tend to forget, when we too find ourselves judging other Christians and what they do and do not believe. James is sure a tough book to read without getting all beat up internally about the way one’s been thinking and doing and seeing all the many things that need to be corrected and changed. When I had first read that verse about envy and strife, I tried to do all I could to not be jealous of others, whether it was how they looked or what they had. Boy, was it tough! But it sure helped me to have less strife, the more content I was about my life. Great post!

    • A Servant

      January 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you. These posts have been exciting, humbling, challenging and encouraging all at the same time.
      I enjoyed your site a day or two back as well. It is truly a blessing to connect with others who have their hope in Christ. A little news watching would have you think Christianity is on the rocks. In fact we all stand on the solid rock. Praise God for His mercy towards us and patience towards our sin sick nation.
      A Servant

  5. Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus

    January 16, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Yes it is True Gary, many claim to be Born Again but still do evil, they do not aim for the crown of righteousness or seek to be perfected in Love as God tells us to do and as Paul and the others did as members of God’s Church, which is not of the flesh but of the Spirit.

    To have the seed or Nature of God, means we walk as Jesus did which is in the Spirit and is in Truth and righteousness, He is our Rod when we judge others and He is Love and so we too Judge in Love and in Truth which is with the mind of Christ 1Corinthians 2:9-16

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

    Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast Loved them, as thou hast Loved me.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

    • A Servant

      January 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you for letting God’s word do the talking. You have obviously spent time with His word. It doesn’t matter what we think, it matters what God says.
      I am not actually Gary. I am trying to get Gary back on here some more. I write under “A Servant” and Gary has started using “A Fellow Servant”.

  6. Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus

    January 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you but who are you, it seems you are Garry’s wife but I’m only guessing, yes I would also like for Ron to write more on our Blog but he does support and encourage me even though he is very busy in his role that he serves in at the Church.

    Yes I Trust in the Scriptures to confirm what I share but sadly have found that some don’t read them so reject me and what I share on their Blogs but then they did so with Jesus and Paul too and the other Disciples and all those who share under His Authority, or Preach being men in Authority, God’s Truth.

    Yes we can have assurance that what we share is His Truth , (see link below) to say we don’t and can’t, is saying that God does not keep His Word, we ask and we receive.

    Wisdom –

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • A Fellow Servant

      January 16, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      Amen Anne. The word of our Lord is called a sword for that reason. Some receive it and still others reject it and those who share it. Actually, ‘A Servant’ is a fellow brother in Christ who I met through work. I understand the confusion due to our using pseudonyms but I am Gary Snow and my good friend and I simply share a love for God’s word and desire to serve Him. He and his wife are very active in a local assembly in their hometown and are dear friends of mine. He is the one actually writing this study series on the book of James. We both post to this blog, sharing whatever the Lord lays on our hearts to share from His word. He usually replies to comments on articles he writes but when I saw my name I thought I would ‘stop in’ and say hello and try to clarify. My family and I are also very active in our church. The Lord called me to preach about 8 years ago and I preach wherever the Lord opens the door of service. I am humbled that the Lord allows me to serve Him and hope to bring glory to Him through that service. I appreciate your prayers and it is great to meet you. To be honest, Australia and New Zealand are two countries I have always wanted to visit. Maybe one day. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Your fellow servant – Gary Snow

      • Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus

        January 17, 2014 at 8:09 am

        Yes very True Garry, I’m also passionate about Jesus The Living Word, and His Truth in the Scriptures, it is a Sword but as you shared, without the empowering of The Holy Spirit it will be rejected by those who walk in darkness, it will be foolishness to them. (1Corinthians2:9-16)

        We read in Scriptures that Jesus is the Living Word and The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6 & 14:17 & 16:13) and in Him there is no lie. We see Him as sharper than any Sword when we read in context Hebrews 4:12-13 without the small particle “it” which was not used in the early Greek (see below) and yes as you said Garry, some read the Bible but do not recognize Jesus Christ and He warns about doing this, we need His wisdom empowered by The Holy Spirit.

        John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

        Revelation 19:12-17 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a Name written, that no man knew, but He Himself and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, ( His Truth ) that with it He should smite the Nations: and He shall rule them with a Rod of iron (The Holy Spirit ) and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. ( against all evil including sin, deception and lies ) And He hath on His vesture ( robe of righteousness ) and on His thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of -Lords (All words in brackets confirmed by other Scripture)

        Hebrews 4:12-13 For the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (KJV )

        Christian Love from us both – Anne.

  7. Sharon

    January 17, 2014 at 1:33 am

    I’m teaching this coming Sunday on the sanctity of life. How God values life. The verses you quoted will be a very essential addition to the study. Thank you so much. Teaching out of Psalm 139.

    • A Servant

      January 17, 2014 at 7:54 am

      What a timely topic. A God created being is priceless. From conception to the grave we all have value. I hope during the study God blessed and then gives you the words and passion to present it.
      A Servant

      • Sharon

        February 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Thank you. It went very well and I was blessed. Always are when studying the Word. Continually seeking Him, Sharon

  8. Jim Voigt

    February 1, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Just finding your blog and i don’t even know where to start in expressing how amazing it is.

    • A Servant

      February 1, 2014 at 8:05 am

      We are honored that you came by. Thank you also for the kind words. We want to, I’m sure you feel the same, lift up the name of Jesus.
      If we can help in any way let us know.
      A Servant


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