I was looking for the reference for James 4:7 today and two things became obvious to me about this bible chapter: Firstly, it gives us a number of reasons why our prayers can be hindered and Secondly, it shows us a number of ways we can give place to the devil and make things really hard for ourselves and others.
The thing is, The Lord is not obliged to heal, set us free, provide for us or impart His Blessing as long as we persist with these sins in our daily lives or a frequent basis. There's so many things we can learn from this chapter and I will show you in special translations just how special James 4 is! It will give a lot of answers to many, reading this post. I spent hours finding the best wordings for you in the following translations.
On this page, you will see what The Lord desires the most. You will see what we can do about that and how we can successfully deal with the adversary. It's all here in James Letter, hey? Read on and make this your own little bible study by copy and pasting the lines that mean the most to you from these special translations. If you take time to read them, you will see why they are so special for James 4:1-17. Shall we go?
Colin Urquhart 2015
1 Why are there fights and disputes among you? Are they not the results of evil desires that rage within you? 2 You want something you don't have......... You quarrel and fight, yet you do not have what you want. 3 Even if you do ask, you do not receive because your motives are wrong when you ask; you want only what will please the natural desires of your self-life.
4 You are an adulterous people! Surely you know that to be friends with the values of this world is tantamount to (equal to) hatred towards God! Yes anyone who decides to be the world's friend
makes himself God's enemy.
5 Do you imagine that the Scripture is meaningless that says the Spirit God causes
to live in us longs for us to be true to Him? 6 And He gives us all the Grace we need to please Him.
This is why the Scripture says : God opposes the proud but gives Grace to the humble."
7 So submit yourselves wholeheartedly to God, stand against the devil and he will run from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.........purify your hearts, for you are double minded.
9 You need to grieve, mourn and wail (godly sorrow) until you are free from your sin. Until then, it is time not to laugh, to be sad instead of joyful. 10 So in repentance, humble yourselves before The Lord and He will (then) raise you up so you can truly rejoice.
11 My brothers, do not speak against each-other for to do so is to judge your brother and to treat God's Word
as being of no account. When you have such an attitude, you do not obey the Law but sit in judgement
on it. 12 God is the only One who gives us the Law and then the only Judge who determines whether we
have obeyed Him. He is the One who has the Power to Save or destroy. After all, who gave you the right
to judge your neighbor?
13 Now listen carefully. Some of you say "today or tomorrow, we will decide to do to this or that place for a year. And our business will then make a good profit." 14 Yet you have no idea what will happen tomorrow (you did not seek The Lord about it). Your life is like a mist that appears in the early morning and soon vanishes when the sun rises.
15 It would be much better if you were to say "if it is The Lord's will, we will live to do this or that."
16 Without such an attitude you are proud and will boast, and all such boasting is evil.
17 If you know what to do and fail to do it, then you are guilty of sin.
3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will
give you pleasure. 4 You adulterers! Don’t you realise that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?
I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and
He will lift you up in honor.
11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
4 You are not faithful to God. Don’t you know that to be a friend of the world is to hate God? So anyone who chooses to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. 5 Don’t you know what Scripture says? God wants the spirit in us to belong only to him. God caused this spirit to live in us. Don’t you think Scripture has a reason for saying this? 6 But God continues to give us more grace. That’s why Scripture says “God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are humble.” (Proverbs 3:34)
7 So obey God. Stand up to the devil. He will run away from you. 8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Make your hearts pure, you who can’t make up your minds.
9 Be full of sorrow. Cry and weep. Change your laughter to mourning. Change your joy to sadness.
10 Be humble in front of the Lord. And he will lift you up.
15 Instead, you should say, “If it pleases the Lord, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you brag. You brag about the evil plans your pride produces. This kind of bragging is evil. 17 So suppose someone knows the good deeds they should do. But suppose they don’t do them. By not doing these good deeds, they sin.
3 You ask and do not receive because you ask badly, in order that you may spend it in connection with your pleasures. 4 Adulterous ones, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
5 Do you think the Holy Writings mean nothing when they said, “The Holy Spirit Whom God has given to live in us has a strong desire for us to be faithful to Him”? 6 But He gives us more loving-favor. For the Holy Writings say, “God works against the proud but gives loving-favor to those who have no pride.” 7 So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil and he will run away from you. 8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Clean up your hearts, you who want to follow the sinful ways of the world and God at the same time. 9 Be sorry for your sins and cry because of them. Be sad and do not laugh. Let your joy be turned to sorrow. 10 Let yourself be brought low before the Lord. Then He will lift you up and help you.
15 What you should say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But instead you are proud. You talk loud and big about yourselves. All such pride is sin. 17 If you know what is right to do
but you do not do it, you sin.
4 O you who are false to God, do you not see that the friends of this world are not God's friends? Every man desiring to be a friend of this world makes himself a hater of God. 5 Or does it seem to you that it is for nothing that the holy Writings say, The spirit which God put into our hearts has a strong desire for us?
6 But he gives more grace. So that the Writings say, God is against the men of pride, but he gives grace to those who make themselves low before him.7 For this cause be ruled by God; but make war on the Evil One and he will be put to flight before you (Your best way of waging war is to give no place to the enemy. Be not hasty with words either).
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Make your hands clean, you evil-doers; put away deceit from your hearts, you false in mind. 9 Be troubled, with sorrow and weeping; let your laughing be turned to sorrow and your joy to grief. 10 Make yourselves low in the eyes of the Lord and you will be lifted up by him.
11 Do not say evil against one another, my brothers. He who says evil against his brother or makes himself his brother's judge, says evil against the law and is judging the law: and in judging the law you become, not a doer of the law but a judge.
15 But the right thing to say would be, If it is the Lord's pleasure and if we are still living, we will do this and that.16 But now you go on glorying in your pride: and all such glorying is evil.
17 The man who has knowledge of how to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
A PRACTICAL LESSON
Once I had an ongoing problem with mice in my house, it lasted for several months. It didn't matter what I tried, they outsmarted me every time - the wretches! I got very upset sometimes thinking "will I ever
see the end of them?" My environment was one of continual tension, I could not really enjoy my life at home much during those months. A couple of times I felt grumpy and said "can't You deliver me from these wretches? It seems You're more interested in their prayers than mine (if they could pray)." My faith even came under attack a few times - seemed like God was protecting them more than He was protecting me, so to speak - I was quite depleted mentally and physically from it all and this in turn, was affecting me spiritually. The enemy tried to do damage to my Image of God through that.
Our Image of God is so very important - everything hinges on that, it really does because once your
Image of The Lord is distorted or not quite the same__ there goes your confidence in prayer, your desire
to please Him (ardently) and your motivation to share the Love of Jesus with others. God willing,
I may write an article about what I call "The Battle of The Image" some time early this year.
I think it would help many of my readers.
You know what the problem was with the mice? I was being kind to them by trying to catch them live
and take them to their outside environment where they're not bothering me. Also, being so busy with a few websites to run and giving each one my best, I did not have sufficient time to make sure all traces of
their activities were clean to discourage their presence in my house and show them they really weren't
welcome - since they don't speak English :)
Now The Lord wants to show you something here. Many of you are being kind to your enemies:
By engaging yourself in sins like those mentioned above (and others) you are giving ground for your
enemies to trespass in your lives, like our fore-parents Adam and Eve did when they sinned.
Thanks to them, we all have the sin-problem on this Earth and Scripture shows us ways to deal
with it, so we can Enjoy our Relationship with Jesus and Live with His Blessings.
THE ENEMY'S STRATEGY
Did you know the kinder you are to your enemies, the more security you give them, just like
those mice and they return your kindness by using it against you. They hate God Almighty and
they hate us because we are His Children because we are Created in His Image and that is restored
through Jesus when we experience Salvation - our new spiritual birth. They really like it when we're
ignorant and use whatever ignorance we have to their gain - bringing circumstances our way
that make us upset, distressed or unhappy. Sometimes unhappy with God and that's the
main purpose of it all. This is also what I refer to as The Great Distraction - so your spiritual energy is pretty much spent - keeping up with it all. Makes many of God's children busy and preoccupied - how can we share about Jesus when we're trying to sort problems out? I mean to say, how can some of you pray much either with so much to weigh you down. It is also important to note that some problems come from the enemy and some problems are of our own making often because of a lack of wisdom or like Adam, we fail to watch over our spiritual garden (heart and life). Like Adam, we fail to stay close to Him.
TAGS: Whats More Important To You? Giving Contempt Where It Is Due!