Today’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15
When was the last time you got in an argument or fight with someone?
When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?
Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?
- Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
- You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
- You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
- Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians. But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.
The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.
To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.
Will we still have quarrels and fights?
Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.
Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them. Make us like You Lord.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10