The Source of Our Battles

The Source of Our Battles
What Lies Beneath

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:1-3 (NKJV)

I venture to say if you were to ask 100 people in a survey about the source of their bickering, feuding, and prolonged battling, they would point to someone, or something as the primary source and root cause of their discontentment and bad actions.  But according to James 4:1 this is not true.  James pointedly states that our wars and fights come from our desires for pleasure that war in our members.

The source of wars and fights among Christians is always the same - there is some root of carnality, an internal war within the believer regarding the lusts of the flesh. 

The word desire used here is translated from the Greek word, hedone, hay-don-ay┬┤; and refers to sensual delight.   Hedone is the root of our English word, Hedonism, which is the quest for pleasure with disregard to everything else.

So taking this definition within the context of this Scripture, this simply means we fight and bicker because we have a physical desire.  It can be a desire to be right in a conversation.  It can be a desire to be thought well of.  It can be a desire to exact justice or revenge.  Or it can be for a multitude of reasons, but the source is always the same; it is the fleshly desire within us coupled with human reasoning and demonic wisdom.

James goes on to list some of the consequences of the fleshly desires warring within the members of our body, which include, lust, murder, and coveting.  We are then told this.

Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2a-3 (NKJV)

James breaks down two types of people following the desires of their flesh here in verses 2 & 3.  The first person will be the person who refuses to ask God for help.  He believes he can acquire and accomplish what he desires by his own efforts, human reasoning, and earthly wisdom.  The second person is one who is willing to seek the help of God, but when they ask in prayer, they ask for the wrong things. 

  •  They're not asking for the right reasons!
  •  They're not asking so that God's goodness and grace may be magnified!
  •  They're not asking so that God's glory and honor might be brought to light!
  •  They're not asking to fulfill His perfect and divine will for your life.
  •  They're asking simply to fulfill your own selfish and sinful will.

We need to remember something very important about prayer.  Prayer is not dictating orders to God like some Genie in a bottle; it is making our request known to God, and then saying, "Your will be done with my life in this situation because I believe that You know what is best for me."  This is exactly what Jesus modeled for us when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And He was withdrawn from them about a stones throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. Luke 22:41-43 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to think about these verses.  Let's keep our eyes on Jesus and remember that our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for our life.  Let's pray about our decisions and seek God in every decision - not just the tough ones.  Let's say with a joyful heart, "Your will be done at the end of each prayer."  Let's not be contentious with others, especially other believers.  Ultimately, no two believers, who are walking in the Spirit of God, can live with fighting and wars between them.

Don't let the enemy deceive you into believing you are in control when you allow discord to remain in your lives.  This is not control; it is bondage and submission to the enemy.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from Jesus' prayer in Luke 22:41-43?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you want God's will done in every part of your life, or do you want your own way and will to be done?

APPLICATION: Seek God continuously for His will.  Read Your Bible daily and ask God to show you all He desires for you to know.  Keep your eyes on the Lord don't lose focus on eternal implications for temporary decisions in the flesh.

Father, thank You for Your Word, and for helping me to be transformed by it.  Help me to know the things You want me to know.  Help me to see things in the way You see things.  May Your will be done in my life today Lord.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000