James 4:1-3 is a picture of someone stuck fast in a sin. The situation started with a desire of some kind-and not just the usual suspects of money or sex, but perhaps subtle varieties of covetousness.
The desire was not swiftly rebuked in the name of Jesus, and so it "conceived" (1:14-15), and it developed in the womb of the soul as it was continuously fed with stinkin' thinkin', until it "gave birth to sin" (1:15). The end manifestation was "quarrels and fights" (4:1) with others, because now the person wants something ravenously and he can't get it. It is his own doing, to be sure, his failure to have nipped temptation (1:13) in the bud. But however it happened, he is, as I said, stuck.
I came to this passage of Scripture stuck. I came because I remembered the description of the person's condition in James 4 and so I was coming for help. I could remember only the part of the passage about the quarreling and coveting and the asking amiss, but I couldn't remember any solution having been given. So I traced my finger down the column of print until I could get beyond the clinical description of bondage to something hopeful for my soul. (There is nothing like coming to the Word in great need.)
I found what I sought in verse 4:6:
"But he gives more grace. …"
My soul leapt! The passage couldn't have spoken more encouragingly to me in my state. So then, I saw, grace is something you can get more of, and this is because the Spirit in us "yearns jealously." How wonderful.
I had once thought it was wrong to ask for more grace, I had envisioned grace conceptually as merely a positional thing-an all-or-nothing dimension that one is either in or out of but that allows of no degrees. That is, I had thought of the idea of grace as synonymous with being a Christian. But here I learn that God gives more of it when it is needed, an increased supply-maybe like white blood cells that are always around but rush to the cite of an infection in emergencies.
The Lord speaks to us according to our need. To the Apostle Paul one day He said His grace was sufficient for his problem (2 Corinthians 12:9). He was interested in the wrestling and clinging of a weak man, the better to prove and grow his character and faith (James 1:2-4). But though God always wants that fight of faith even in our weakness, it is good to know that when the occasion calls for it, "He gives more grace." In my case, if He had said, "You have enough grace; make do," my heart would have sunk deeper, for I was not making it. But He said "He gives more grace," and I was revived.