Hey Guys, how have you been doing? I hope that the world hasn’t caught you too busy with woo much to do in a weeks time. If you have any prayer requests please let me know. I long to support and pray for every person who needs it. Today we are talking through James 4 which is a very interesting section of scripture! If you haven’t already read it please click this link to access it online. This section of scripture more than certainly has a lot to say to us about pride, the world, and boasting. So lets jump right in!
How many of you have siblings and you have ever fought? What about just getting arguments with other people in general? What usually are you fighting about? I know personally every fight I can think of was over something. Fighting with your parents because you want more time with your friends. Fighting with a sibling over them using your shirt. Etc the fights go on and on! James knows the heart of it all. He points it out in James 5:1-3. We fight because we long for what we do not have. And why don’t we have it? Because we don’t ask God and furthermore James says “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasure.”
So many people have detailed to me the things that they have wanted over the course of their lives. “All I want is a hot girlfriend”, “All I want is nice things”, “All I want is a good group of friends”, etc. So many times I have heard people tell me that they are praying and praying for God to send them their soul mate. I have to say that at times I find myself in prayer asking for selfish things “Please give me this promotion at work” Notice the order that James puts things in. What is the first thing that may be hindering you from getting what you desire?  You are not asking God. Well that answer on its own seems simple. Alright all I need to do is pray about it and I will get whatever I want? right? It is important to recognize the second hindrance: asking with wrong motives. What motivates you behind these desire? Do you want the hot girlfriend to honor God? Do you want nice things in order to use them to further God’s Kingdom? Is your group of friends actively pursuing a relationship with Christ in your dreams? Did I want the promotion so that I could use the extra money I would earn on righteous deeds? No.
James knew that many of the people would answer the same way. Because a problem back then (and a problem still today) is that we are too attached to this world. We want the best things in this world and we want to leave out mark on it. But James tells us “friendship with the world means enmity against God” he points to what he thinks is the main problem: Pride.
He outlines some great killers of pride.
- 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.
- Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
- Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Now does this mean we should go around all gloom and doom all day? Absolutely not! The scriptures clearly tell us to rejoice and be glad! But to rejoice and be glad in the day that the Lord has made. We need to humble ourselves before God, resist the devil, and draw near God to kill our pride.
Don’t think you have a pride problem? Ask yourself this question: In this past week have you:  gossiped about someone or  judged based off appearance (GOOD OR BAD). I know that I have. It is hard to not as it is a value so ingrained in our culture but the important part is to know that it is wrong.
The ending of James 4 is equally important to the rest. It focuses on those people who are boasting in the future. They say what business they will do later that day or later that week. James points out how do you know that you will even have life tomorrow or later this week? You don’t. I want to encourage you. If you have any trouble with pride, gossip, or boasting to take a minute to pray through that right now. We cannot promise ourselves tomorrow morning or the evening after it. I know the tendency is to push it off to a later time but there is no time like right now! At least you can be certain of the breath you are currently breathing!
This was a heavy chapter. I know that it was very convicting to me and that I learned a lot from looking into it. I hope that you have a great week and if you are having a rough one or have any prayer requests I again invite you to submit prayer requests. (you can do so anonymously)
May God Bless You This Week.