Fire in the Right Direction

July 25, 2004

One of the best sermons I’ve ever heard:

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, 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. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 4:1-12

-we don’t know how to have meaningful conflict and still be on the same side
-we have to fight the right enemy and fight for the right cause
-the more you understand who you are the higher the risk can be that you will creat conflict
-do you keep wanting things that destroy you?
-God will not join you, you have to join him
-we want God to meet our desires instead of changing our desires
-the world James is talking about is inside of us, not outside of us; James says nothing about the outside world
-God gets involved when we cry out in desperation, but that isn’t the way to live a healthy life
-sin equals everything that demeans the character of God and who you were created to be
-one of the problems with Christians is we don’t love anyone in the world out there
-people are not the enemy, people are the treasure
-when you make God the ultimate object of your desires, God changes your desires and meets them
-PROACTIVE ACTION: submit, resist, draw near, cleanse, purify, change, humble yourself, do not speak evil (4-11)
-the person who waits for God to do a miracle rarely sees it, but the person who moves with proactive action sees more of God’s miraculous intervention
-one reason we don’t invite God into our lives is because we are doing and desiring things he’s not pleased with
-humility is an inclination towards “yes”
-do not ask for clarity in the future until you can walk wth clarity in the present


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