James: Handling the Hard Stuff of Life
Before you call me judgmental and prudish because I try to take God’s Word as it is and let Him transform me as I work it into my life, I want to remind you I don’t make this stuff up! James, my dad’s favorite book of the Bible, tells it like it is. I don’t need to add anything to the following passage…I just need to repent of my own “dabbling” and stop acting like a spoiled child. I read the Word and write each morning because I am weak and in need of a Savior to be Lord of my life. That is my disclaimer…in case you are wondering about my obsessive habit to write each day. ; )
James 4, The Message
1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
2-3 You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
Dear Heavenly Father, We repent of our selfish ways and ask you to dig deeper still and root out all that is offensive in us. Make us holy before you. I’m listening, Lord, and ready to shape up as You do Your work in me. In Jesus Name, Amen