CUT IT OUT!
FAITH FORWARD >> — Message #6
Pastor Chuck Hill — Trinity Fellowship Church
Sunday, September 16, 2018
More often than we would like to admit, we face struggles, issues, and quarrels within our lives. Sometimes they are found within the relationships we have at home or work, but at times that can even be found within our relationships in the church. Where ever they show up in our lives they cause strife. They never help — but most always hurt. For this reason, James talks straight to us about the problem and the solution for overcoming conflict, so we can move forward in our faith and our friendships with others.
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:1-10 (NIV)
THE PROBLEM: WE OFTEN FACE CONFLICT IN LIFE WITH GOD AND OTHERS.
Our personal struggles and relational conflicts hinge on three things:
1. OUR PROPENSITY FOR SELF-CENTEREDNESS
2. OUR LACK OF COMMITMENT
3. OUR STRUGGLE WITH PRIDE
THE SOLUTION: OUR CONFLICT ENDS WHERE OUR SUBMISSION BEGINS.
James exhorts us to take three life-changing steps to overcome conflict and experience God’s blessing:
1. SUBMIT TO GOD
2. REPENT OF SIN
3. HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD
If I’m are going to CUT IT OUT and live with peace in my life and in my world, I first have to experience peace within my own heart and mind. As with everything else James is teaching in this letter, this issue of ceasing conflict isn’t for someone else — it’s for me!
My response to God is paramount to my success in living free of conflict!