From The Heart

Publish date: 04/13/2003

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. 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 is hatred toward God? 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 the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?   6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace 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

If you want God's grace in your life, then you owe it to yourself to lay down your pride and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Pride prevents the blessings of God in your life, but humility welcomes and makes way for them.

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?  James 4:11-12

When you slander or criticize your fellow Christians, you are setting yourself up as a judge. The problem is that there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. If you realized that when you judge another you are trying to take a place and a position that belongs only to the Lord, then you might be quicker to put a guard on your lips. This judgmental attitude—setting yourself up as better than another—stems from your pride. Your pride will always get you into trouble!

John 3:17 AMP says that, "God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him."  If Jesus does not even judge you, then you certainly have no right to judge each other. Remember—you might have a reason to judge others, but you still do not have a right.

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.  James 4:13-16

As many of you may already have found out, you cannot say, "I will do this" or "I won't do that" to the Lord. Just when you make up your mind, He changes your direction. You must lay down the pride that causes you to try to do things on your own—trusting in your own judgment, intelligence and wisdom—and yield to His superior wisdom and understanding. When you humble yourself to daily receive direction and wisdom from the Lord, then you will prosper in everything that you do.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.  James 4:17

You are accountable for what you know. If you know what is the right thing to do—then do it. Otherwise it will be counted as a sin to you. Make sure that you are a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer. Humble your heart to receive both correction and direction from the Lord and He will prosper your way.