Home > Bible Study, Devotional, James Devotional, Wisdom > James – Friday, March 27

James – Friday, March 27

theselfishgene-a4posterJAMES 4:1-3

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. 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.

In this incredibly insightful passage, God tells us the main reason why there is fighting between people. The reason why people fight and quarrel is that people want things, and will do anything but ask God for them.

Instead of waiting upon the Lord that He might satisfy our needs and desires, we take matters into our own hands. We kill, covet, quarrel, and fight. We act out of our own fleshly desires. In that frame of mind, even when we pray, we are praying selfishly… which is a major reason why some prayers are not answered.

The opposite way of doing life is what we should strive for. We should submit all of our desires and what we think we need to God. He loves us and will give us the best (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 12:32). We can trust Him completely. And as we do that, we’ll discover that He is meeting all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). We’ll also discover that our wars with others will cease. There will be peace.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. What conflict(s) are you experiencing with others at the present time?

2. As you allow the Lord to search your own heart, what is it that you want from that person or those persons? How are you attempting to get it? How are those attempts keeping you from trusting God only to supply your real needs?

3. What have you asked from God today? What would you like Him to provide for you that you’ve not taken the time to ask of Him? Take time right now to entrust your heart, desires, and life to Him!

  1. Kevin G.
    March 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    As a response to question 1: I long for one teacher, Jesus!

    One sometimes finds conflict with certain individuals who stand in as “pastors.” They speak for the Lord yet are rife with impurity and sin. They act according to their own selfish motives as much as the Lord’s. They remit truth and sidestep faith whitst abiding flesh and selfish ambition, contrary to the scripture. They actually stand in the way of God’s kingdom advancing by pretending or supposing to be an instrument of God and a representative of his will. Luke-warm.

    Having someone act as a teacher offering sound doctrine often interspersed with and overshadowed by flim-flam, jargon, and opinion is a sad excuse for “church.” Some kids have limited access to church and minimal exposure to God’s word. I fear too many me be viewing these “sub-pastors” as the best the Church can provide for them as God’s voice. Pray for unity and understanding. These conditions may turn them away from the Truth at a critical point in their young lives. Their lives are in His hands.

    Pray that the Lord would give many courage to rise up as witnesses of the truth, and to make way for those who will. Pray that only those who are preaching the gospel by pure motives would be protected and strengthened, led by the Spirit. Brothers and sisters, Pray that Jesus would open the hearts of many of our kids and teenagers, and reveal himself to them in powerful ways. Pray for conviction and revelation in these last days.

  2. Peggy
    March 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Agreeing with you, brother Kevin, and petitioning our dear Heavenly Father, our Abba, before His Throne of Grace, and asking for “witnesses of the Truth” (Jesus being that Truth, Way, that Life) to rise up for God’s glory.

  3. March 28, 2009 at 9:15 am


    I’m sorry to hear of your difficult experience(s) with pastor(s). I stand in agreement with you that the Lord Jesus is our Teacher, a la 1 John 2:22-29. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher, ultimately. In the 1 John text are tests for teachers; doctrine and lifestyle are the basis of deciding about a man, whether he is God’s man.

    Yet, the Lord does use human teachers. Teaching is a spiritual gift given to some in Christ’s body. Pastors are actually called to be pastor-teachers. We, as learners, are to maintain our focus upon the Lord as we listen to human teachers, and we are also to be like the noble Bereans and prove whether what we’re being told is true or not.

    Personally, I have benefitted greatly from men the Lord has used to teach me. Actually, He is the One teaching me, but men He has called have oftentimes been His instruments. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    The calling of the pastor-teacher is one of the most difficult callings in the world. We need to remember Hebrews 13:17 as well as the warnings about poor leaders and false teachers.

    Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

    Blessings to you.

    In Christ,
    Bill Holdridge

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