Quarrels and fights will be a reality of life all around us this week. According to James, if I am to avoid the pitfalls without, I must consistently look within.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1)
Throughout James 4, the Holy Spirit doesn’t leave those questions unanswered or up to me.
Consider the Path to “War”
- I declare independence from God (4:5)
- I conform to the world around me (4:4)
- War, fueled by my passions, breaks out within me (4:1)
- When someone gets in my way, quarrels and fights break out (4:1) and I allow the evil that has taken root in my heart to spew out of my mouth (4:11-12)
- My relationships and my own spirit are overrun with enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy (Gal 5:20-21), threatening my very eternal life (4:4)
Consider Also the Path to Peace
- I must be willing to humbly listen and objectively evaluate: “Do you not know?” (4:4)
- The God who jealously yearns over my spirit is a God of grace (4:6)
- I am given the opportunity to submit to God and resist the devil (4:7)
- With a broken and contrite heart that is grieved over my sin, I repent (4:8-9)
- I walk humbly with my God, trusting that his way is best (4:10)
This sermon was delivered on September 25, 2016.