Tuesday, November 02, 2010

How Fights Are Started and Stopped...[173]

First Cause of Fight: Inner Desire

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
[James 4:1]
When our desires go unmet our frustration mounts and eventually erupts into conflict. So we intended to go on fighting until we get our way.

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
[James 4:2]

Three specific effects of this unchecked, combative desire:
  1. We allow ourselves to calculate ways to assassinate someone else's character.
  2. Those same murderous thoughts spur us on to fights and quarrels - wounding with words.
  3. Failure to pray... because we're too busy fighting. We prefer to slug things out rather than surrender the situation to God.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. [James 4:3]

Their requests were legitimate, but the reason for making them was illegitimate. They wanted only to satisfy their own cravings, pamper their own passions. God's glory, God's service, consideration for other people - none of these things entered into their thinking. Such prayers are an insult to God.

Second Cause of Fight: Worldly Motivation

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. [James 4:4]

World = the world apart from God. It signifies a self-centered, Satan-controlled philosophy that is hostile toward God. Believers war when they attempt to satisfy their inner desires by worldly motivation - handling conflicts by fighting, pushing and demanding until you get exactly what you want, when you want it.

  • World motivation result in hostility toward God. Deliberately living according to the world's standards rather than God's is an act of rebellion.
  • World motivation result in enmity against God. To have a warm,familiar attitude toward this evil world is to be on good terms with God's enemy. It is to adopt the world's set of values and want what the world wants instead of choosing according to divine standards. The person who deliberately "chooses to be a friend of the world" by that choice "becomes an enemy of God".

God's Solution..

The Power...

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? [James 4:5]

The power of the Holy Spirit. No alien relationship, such as friendship with the world will be tolerated by Him. He wants the undivided devotion of every human heart. When we draw upon the power of His Holy Spirit and say,"Lord, it's Your battle, please take control," the fighting subsides.

The Principle...

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." [James 4:6]

God is saying,"I'll give abundant grace to those who are willing to humble themselves and wait. Trust Me and draw your strength from Me."

Practical Advice..

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. [James 4:7-8]

  • Submit to God.
  • Resist the devil.
  • Draw near to God.
  • Cleanse hands and purify hearts

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. [James 4:9-10]

Listen to the Spirit's promptings and surrender to God, letting Him do your fighting.

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