We have been talking about the evil desires that are inside us. Even after salvation we still have to fight against thinking and doing the wrong thing. In this post James gives us a how-to list to help us fight the “War Between the Ears”.
Battle Lines Drawn
The first four verses of chapter 4 state what we are up against. In verse five we are told this is not a new issue. The Old Testament warns us about the old man’s desires to lust and envy. It’s interesting how it reads… Today we might say “Do you think the scriptures were joking when it warned about our evil desires.” Just as we start sinking down in our seats verse 6 starts with… “But he giveth more grace”.
Rules of Engagement
The bible often takes us down a dark path to show us the evil not to shame us but to wake us up. There is evil inside us and we have to be careful. Now, in the next few verses, God’s word shows us how to avoid such evil. That is what we see here starting in v.6; James is going to give us the way to escape the evil desires inside each of us.
Verse 6a: Conditional promise of grace: (The ability to say no to Satan’s temptations.)
Verse 6b: God reacts negatively to pride and turns towards the humble. With a humble spirit God will come to us and provide us everything we need to resist Satan. Pride, on the other hand, will fuel the evil passion.
Verse 7: When we are humble and submitted to God we can turn away from Satan’s advances requiring him to leave us. Resist is an action!
Verse 8a: Here we have the key to a close relationship with God; draw nigh to Him.
Verse 8b & 9: Here is how we draw nigh: repent of your sin and stop giving in to evil desires: have one main goal, to honor God. Verse 9 tells us the attitude we are to have when repenting; we are to be truly sorry. (Not sorry we got caught; we are truly sorry we did it.)
Verse 10: Finally a promise from God that if we will do these things God will lift us up. (We will have a close relationship, our heart will be focused on God and we will have the ability to say no to the evil desires inside us. Then and only then will we win the war between the ears.)
January 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm
Reblogged this on Intrepid Didymus.
January 21, 2014 at 8:50 am
I am again honored that you wanted to share a post with your readers. Sharing our struggles with one another is part of the process; we can draw strength from each other.
January 21, 2014 at 8:56 am
I agree 100% that our sharing of struggles with one another (at least for myself) brings peace, hope and strength even in the midst of the ongoing difficulties that we face daily.
A Fellow Servant
January 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm
Amen. So true. Our old nature gets us in trouble. Like Paul we must mortify the flesh daily. Thanks brother. Great post. Love the coffee mug too.
January 21, 2014 at 8:46 am
War is an ugly word but I think it does describe the internal struggle we face daily. Prayer, assembling together and reading God’s word keep the mind focused on Him.
Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus
January 21, 2014 at 5:07 am
Yes very True A Servant, until we are perfected in Love and righteousness, (1John 4:17-19 Hebrews 6:12-Timithy 3:17- Matthew 5:48) which we are to aim for as Paul tells us to, by putting our childish ways behind us and walking in the Fruit of the Spirit by His empowering, we will battle with our carnal flesh, Paul shared about this in Romans 7 and called himself wretched but rejoiced that Jesus would rescue him and he then shows us in Romans 8 and other Scriptures, how to put our flesh to death because it is this that causes us to sin, so yes we are to choose daily to walk in the Spirit not the flesh (Romans 8:1)
Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers/ sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
Galatians 24 -26 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Yes Jesus has set us free from sins slavery, ( John 8:34-36) so we could choose to walk in The Fruit of the Spirit with His empowering and not the carnal flesh and we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, not say we will continue to sin and as you shared with us A Servant, No temptation will be greater than we can bear and yes when we draw close to God the Devil flees, he can’t stand Holiness, goodness and righteousness, we smell of death to him … HIS!
I agree with you A Servant, Pride must be Godly not of the carnal flesh, the differences are below, when we walk in humility it does not mean we put ourselves down but that we lift Christ up.
Yes their are two types of Pride, Godly Pride and worldly or fleshy pride.
What Worldly pride is…
Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
1 John 2:15- 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
What Godly Pride is …
Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to others.
2 Corinthians 8:24 show these men the proof of your Love and the reason for our Pride in you, so that the Churches can see it.
2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Because we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. It is plain to God what we are, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are giving you an opportunity to take Pride in us not trying to commend ourselves again to you , so that you have an answer for those who take Pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.
As a Christian anointed Evangelist, A Servant, I also take Godly Pride in my Ministry to those who are in darkness, and rejoice with those who are not, as I’m sure both you and Garry do too in your Ministry.
Christian Love from both of us – Anne
January 21, 2014 at 7:40 am
I hate this battle between my ears!!! But praise God..he has overcome!
January 21, 2014 at 8:42 am
Truly God is gracious and gives us everything we need to live a victorious life. Thank you for the support.