James 4:1-3 “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. 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? 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.”
Could there be a more pertinent passage of scripture for times like these? We are seeing this play out right before our very eyes. James makes it plain, and that’s why I love this book so much. He avoids small talk at all costs and gets right to the root of the issue. Where do you think everything that all of these wars and fights come from? They don’t just happen. They happen because…
You want your own way
You lust for what you don’t have
You want what isn’t your
Remember this about sin. Sin is selfish. You never sin to yourself. The root of all sin is selfishness. However, it never just affects you. This makes so much sense, but here’s the kicker, it’s so much easier to recognize the root of appalling wars and quarrels when they aren’t yours. Does it grieve your heart to think that we are fighting the wars of today because someone, somewhere, wanted their own way. It does mine. During our fast, I have been praying that the Lord would separate the wheat from the tares and not just externally, but internally! What fights and wars are happening around us simply because we are spoiled children wanting our own way. The ending line of this scripture passage is chocked full of convicting power. You wouldn’t think of asking God for some things because you know you have no right to it. You are spoiled children each wanting your own way. Let the cry of our hearts be “NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE!”
Consecration: Getting your way
Today, purposefully deny yourself from getting your way. You don’t even have to do it all day. Just attempt to do it once. Ask the Holy Spirit to shine on moments, situations, and conversations that become about you or are self-serving. Today, we are consecrating our will. It may sound small and insignificant, but clearly James has shown us today that it is anything but that. I wonder what God could clear our personal temples of if we would truly allow Him. Give Him access today, to ALL the parts.