Tuesday, July 9, 2013

War Within (James 4:1-3)

- Fights, quarrels, strife, contention, dissension, discord, factions, wars (yes, even killing) are caused by our own desires (selfish ambition, self-centeredness, self-interest, envy, covetousness (desire to get that which belongs to others), lust, pride, wanting our own way). Essentially, they all stem from "me-mentality"/"I want this--I want that"/"I want what I want rather than what God wants and I'm going to do anything by my own power...my way to get what I want".
- As we mature spiritually and our mind is renewed/transformed, more and more we want what God wants. When we die to self and live for God...when we surrender all to Him, we will win the battle within us. The victory is found in surrender (not my will, but Your will)!
- Even when we have legitimate desires, we do not ask God because we tend to depend on selves (self-reliance), not on God. We fail to realize that God alone can fully satisfy human desires.
- The reason for unanswered prayer is our wrong motives. We ask for selfish reasons...for the gratification of our own worldly pleasures. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) The important condition of answered prayer is God's will. We know (from previous verses) that His will is peace and unity, not fights and quarrels...mercy, good fruit, and righteousness, not envy, covetousness, or selfishness. We're blessed to be a blessing to others (this is God's will)! God doesn't want to bless those who will hoard blessings to themselves (which is definitely not God's will) to satisfy their own pleasures/desires.

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