II Kings 17, II Chronicles 28, Psalm 46, and James 3
When God captivates our heart with his love, when he tames our heart with his love, our lives are never the same. When that happens we are reborn, and begin to be set free. We begin to live a different kind of life, a Spirit-filled life.
James is contrasting two different kinds of life here. There is the Spirit-filled life, evidenced by a heart that‘s being tamed by his love, and there is the heart of the flesh. James points to something as simple and mundane as the tongue, and our words, and he shows us that this little tongue of ours simply cannot be tamed. We can’t control it. It controls us. It creates circumstances in our lives that are simply beyond our control. It’s a flame of fire he says, and that fire finds its source in Hell itself.
It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (Jms 3:6 NLT)
He tells us that if we could control the tongue we would be perfect. But alas, we cannot even control this tiny little tongue of ours, and we are not perfect.
We can’t even affect the change we want in something as simple as the use of our words. Apart from God, we can’t affect the change we want in this life. It’s as futile as trying to draw fresh water from a salty spring, James says. But in Christ, our heart is tamed by his love, and we begin to participate with that love, and we learn to draw from the refreshing springs of Christ, his presence,, daily. We experience something completely different. In Christ we can learn to have wisdom that is pure and peace-loving. We can learn to be gentle, yield to others, show mercy, be sincere, not show favoritism, and be a peacemaker. A life tamed by his love, in the end, will yield a harvest of righteous living.
James is describing in such beautiful detail here, what the Spirit -filled life looks like. And that life is possible if we want it. It’s not possible on your own effort, but it is possible when you are captivated and tamed by his love. The Spirit of God comes and lives in and through you in such a way that you experience abundant life - the life that’s described here.
Live in him and know his love. Keep in step with the Spirit. Let Christ live His life in and through you.