What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1)
“Among you” is translated by some scholars as “in you“. When I reflect on the many battles in my life this would be a consistent one. I understand that some of the many struggles we can face are not always visually seen by others. These struggles are faced “in you” and can internally impact your mind and heart. These struggles can take away the joy you can fill into others. Our earthly desires, worries, and fears are tucked back in our mind and the wrestling match of external, desires are grappling with our internal thoughts and heart. Leaving us questioning within our heads and walking through this earthly life half-minded.
James pastoral counsel can lead us back to place of love, grace, and peace. Personally, as I start back to the school year with much excitement. In my mind, my earthly demands, desires, and fixed mindset moments can make room for questioning thoughts and actions. My thoughts can be like a thief that robs me of being truly “in the moment” by wondering what is to come. It can be hard to be at peace with anyone else when you are not at peace with yourself. That’s what makes being in the word so valuable. I’m reminded, we need to turn to our Father who provides all the peace we need. That God is with us all the time and I need to stop trying to do things my way. Jesus said,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
As we continue to read through James we are reminded to simply ask. Call on Him at any and all times. In addition, when we pray we are to pray with the right motives. James 4:3 We pray with faith and according to God’s will not ours. This will detangle the internal mess that can leave you walking through our day with this internal struggle. Here are a couple complimenting verses that God’s living word provides for us to pray through.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1John 5:14).
But when we ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).
It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on day by day, minute by minute. My prayer is that we not let our external worldly desires distract our internal mind and heart knowing that God has an eternal place waiting for us. Be encouraged and don’t rob yourself of who we belong to. Steal back the moments God desires us to enjoy. James reminds us that the time is now to let go of these worries and fears.
“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” (James 4:14).
Today as I read one of daily devotionals Jesus Calling had this perfect reminder.
Trust Me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm- your Peace in My Presence- need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start feeling stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace.
Seek God’s Face, and He will share His mind with you, open your eyes to see things from His perspective. The peace I give is sufficient for you.
Thank you for all our writers and readers. We celebrate and praise your living word and understand how your words breathe through us. Please continue to encourage us to look to you at all times and not fall into the half-minded living of the world. You call us son and daughter, salt and light. Help us to trust your word always and share this good news with everyone. God we ask you to help us break the chains of inner struggles and help us to know we can walk in victory with you always. Amen
Jesus Calling August 26th ~ Sarah Young
The Village Church App August 2017 ~ Marked by Matt Chandler
Logos Bible ~ James 4