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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

QUARRELS AND FIGHTS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST


 

Today’s Reading:

James 4:1-10 (1-8)

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Do not they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2You want what you do not have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t not get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And even when you ask, you do not get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure. 4You adulterers! Do not you realise that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: if you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They way that God is passionate, that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. 6And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 7So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” (vv: 1-8 NLT)

 

In the passage before us today, James identified a basic cause of contention, fighting among Christians as – friendship with the world (vv. 1-3; 1:4). Here James is not asking us not to appreciate the beauty of God’s created world. We are to be grateful, praise and appreciate God for the beauty of the world around us. As the hymn writer Folliott Sandford Pierpoint 1864) said: “For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies. Lord of all to the we raise, this our sacrifice of praise .” James here is talking about the world system which is in hostility towards God. It motivates us to rejects God’s provision and to pursue its own wicked and evil desires with a worldly attitudes that encourages us to only ‘fight for our way and do not give in’.


Also, conspiracy, fights and wars in the community is as a result of faith without works. Dispute comes from desires, cravings for too much pleasure which is at war with self. Possessions, more money, higher status, more recognition – more than seeking things of heaven. When we do not have what we desire, some go to the extent of coveting, steal, and then murder in order to have them. James says that at times we do not ask from God and when we ask, we do not receive the things desired because we ask with wrong, selfish, self-centred intentions – unnecessary competition!


How do we overcome these arrogant pleasure seeking?

1. We stop praying for self-centred pleasures (vv.2). Instead of being aggressive, we should surrender ourselves to God, ask him to help us and be contented with whatever he gives.

2. Close our eyes to, renounce our association with the world and build a cordial relationship with the God (v. 4). There is nothing wrong with pleasures of life, they are gifts from God (1:7; Eph. 4:7; 1Tim 4:4-5). But wrong worldly association will result in seeking pleasures at all cost, and at the expense of obeying God’s command. Pleasures that keep us from pleasing God is sinful and against God’s rich bounty, which is better for us.

3. Totally submit to the Holy Spirit of God which dwells in us (v. 5). When we yield to the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit, we gain the support of God the Father and God the Son as well(v.4).

4. Be humble, knowing that God rejects the proud (v.6; Prov. 16:18-19; 1Pet 5:-6). Pride makes us haughty, self-centred and gives false confidence that we deserve all we see and can touch. It also creates greedy appetite for far more than we really needed. We need God’s approval in all things.

5. Resist being subordinate to Satan, resolve to live a holy life and surrender to God (v.7). We should be aware that Satan’s task is to seek to win us to his evil cause. He hates man and would do anything to make us work against God’s will.

6. Draw nearer to God in worship, daily purify your body, soul and spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us.

7. Confess and repent of sins, hate, and mourn for sin and dwell in the mercy of God.

May God help us all!

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


Prayer:

  1. Father, I confess and repent of all my sins, let your mercy speak and work for me, in Jesus name.

  2. Father create in me a pure heart, renew a right, humble and teachable spirit within me in Jesus name.

  3. Father, in all that I do for you, let Jesus Christ increase and be lifted high, let me decrease and let God the Father take all the glory, in Jesus name.

  4. Father, revive your Church and grant our leaders your wisdom, understanding, discernment and insight into your working, in Jesus name.

  5. Resurrection power of God, overshadow the body of Christ, deliver, heal, and bring to life every dead area of your Church, in Jesus name.

  6. Father give us God fearing leaders to move the nation forward, in Jesus name.

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