What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

   “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.  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 4:1-12

It’s easy to get caught up in the things of this world.

Small town gossip, big city excitement

It’s doesn’t matter where you live, the devil is working to pull you away from the ONE THING that matters………HIM.

James 4 begins with the heading, “Submit to God,” and somehow in our culture I believe the word “submit” has become a negative verb, a verb of weakness.

I love the definition for “submit” that says this:

to present for the approval, consideration, or decision of another or others: to submit a plan; to submit an application.

When I think about submitting to God, I think of the idea of presenting for approval the things I do, the the things I say, the way I feel about people………….

I want God to consider my thoughts and my actions.  Are they pleasing to Him?

Not always, but thank goodness, “He jealously longs for the Spirit He has caused to dwell in me.”

Because of this, James says He gives us more grace.

So when I think about life, I think about a seesaw.

On one end is me trying to stay focused on God.

On the other end is God’s never-ending grace.

When my focus  becomes blurry and I begin to fall, God’s grace becomes stronger and He lifts me up.

I love the feeling of being balanced in God’s eyes.

His grace suspending me freely as I focus directly on Him.

That’s when my feet dangle and I don’t have to work anymore at my faith.

I want to be lifted by God’s grace and in an ironic, “God’s way is higher than my way,” style,

submitting means being lifted higher than we ever could be by trying to live alone.

When I submit to God, He pours out His grace and I begin to rise above all the things this world pulls me towards…….

I love the old song,

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up…….Higher and Higher…….and He will lift you up.”

Today, forget the arguments, the distractions, the earthly gain……..

look to Jesus as your Peacemaker, Savior, and one and only need.

Oh, the freedom that comes from knowing Christ.

I’m reminded of another song as I write,

In the secret
in the quiet place
in the stillness You are there
in the secret
in the quiet hour I wait
only for You
‘cuz I want to know you more
I want to know you
I want to hear your vioce
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more
I am reaching for the highest goal
that i might receive the prize
pressing onward
pushing every hindrance aside
out of my way
‘cuz I want to know you more
I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more

Today, let’s live with this song in our heart and enjoy the freedom that comes from focusing on His face.

(Push pause on my blog music to the right just below my Facebook friends listing before clicking “play” on the song below.)

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