November 15, 2020
4:1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, “God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
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 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, 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 one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?
BOTTOM LINE: Don’t be a king. Live for THE KING.
Read James 4:1-5. According to James, what are the causes of conflicts within a person, among believers, and between a person and God?
Read James 4:6-10. How can people stop being enemies of God and instead become servants of God?
People handle conflicts in many different ways. For instance, some try to ignore the problems, some focus only on winning the argument, and some do whatever it takes to pacify the other person. How have you handled your recent conflicts? How do your methods align with or fail to align with how the book of James describes healthy relationships among people? (James 1:19-21, 2:8-13, and 3:9-18 are just a few other key passages dealing with relationships.)
In what ways can submitting yourself before God by humbly confessing your sins help you resolve any conflicts you might be experiencing, whether they’re within you, among your peers, or between you and God?
As James describes, fully humbling ourselves before God by confessing our impurities to him will begin with mourning, grieving, and wailing. Yet, as he promises in 4:10, God will lift us up. This week, focus your prayers on humbly confessing your sins and impurities, leaving no stone unturned. Trust that God will ultimately lift you up if you truly humble yourself before him. Consider how this humble attitude may also help you deal with conflicts you experience. Throughout this message series, make the commitment to read through the letter of James at least once. Don’t be afraid to read it a second time if you have the chance.