War of Worlds
James Chapter Four
James 4:14–17 (ESV)
14 What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him, it is sin.
Life is precious and perishable. It’s a breath that lasts but a moment. It is too short to get caught up fighting the wrong fights.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF LIFE’S CONFLICTS?
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4:1-3, ESV).
Jame’s answer: “your passions are at war within you”
The war is within us is between what we want and what we know to be right.
“Passions” – the desire to please oneself
We don’t get to choose our feelings; we get to choose what we do with those feelings
Three choices we fail to make:
a) Choose Charity
2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
This is an embrace of SELFISHNESS over SELFLESSNESS
Selfless Love is beautifully and perfectly defined:
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Four Hard Choices Of Love:
– To Bear all things
– To Believe all things
– To Hope all things
– To Endure all things
b) Choose Communion
“You do not have, because you do not ask.”
This is an embrace of SELF-SUFFICIENCY over ABSOLUTE RELIANCE
When we don’t pray:
– We transfer our faith to ourselves, others, or things.
– We act rashly.
– We miss God’s will for our lives.
– We encounter troubles and hardships that could often be avoided.
– We lack direction to act or seize opportunities.
– We become weighed down with fear, anxiety, and stress.
– We lose our peace and joy.
c) Choose Consecration
“you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
This is an embrace of SELFISHNESS over HOLINESS
Matthew 6:31–33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
WHAT IS THE COST OF OUR COMPROMISE?
4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:4-6, ESV).
Adulterous – unfaithful to one’s earlier and true beliefs
– Enmity – hatred, hostility, made an enemy of, gone to war against
– Opposition – resistance, working against
WHAT IS THE CURE FOR THE CHAOS?
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:4–12 (ESV).
The Seven-Fold Cure:
– Submit to God
– Resist The Devil
– Draw Near
– Clean Your Hands
– Humble Yourself
– Watch your tongue
– Judge righteously