Spiritual Warfare - part 3

James 4:1
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
The Message - 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.

James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
The Message - 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. You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you?

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
The Message - 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.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The Message - 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.

James 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
The Message - And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover."

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
The Message - 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."

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Dex Translation - You must submit yourselves to God if you are to have power over sin and the devil. Satan will stop being so effective in your life when you truly submit to God!

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Dex Translation - Start truly seeking God and get to know Him. If you get serious with God, He will get serious with you. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. You know what is right and wrong.

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
The Message - Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Dex Translation - Stop grabbing all that you want and think you deserve. Allow the Lord to shape your desires. Submit the bad desires to Him. If you do this, God will honor your actions and He will cause you to arise into His perfect will for you.
The Message - Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.

James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
The Message - My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

In conclusion, we will never have victory over sin, habits, emotions, and the devil until we first submit to God. You see, God won't force us to do this. But when we willingly begin to submit to Him, He sustains us, protects us, and empowers us to continue in His will and in His way. 

See
Psalm 91, Psalm 23, and Armor of God

-- Jeremy Brown 2004   - - part 4 --
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