BLESSED SUBMISSION-JAMES 4:1-10
INTRODUCTION: How many of you snow ski? Down Hill? Through the woods? I have never done it…don’t plan to. Still I read a fascinating article one time about downhill skiing through the woods. There is a trick to how to do it. You see when most people are in the woods, they notice the trees. If you are downhill skiing and you look at the trees, that is where you will end up…and that is not where you want to end up. When you are whipping through the trees you don’t want to look at the trees…instead you look at the openings in between the trees. Instead of the trees being foreground and the sky being background you make the air in between the trees foreground and the trees background. Then you ski to the openings. It is a matter of perspective. It is a matter of Gestalt.
How are you Church? I’M BLESSED. Blessed through Jesus Christ, Blessed with new life, Blessed with another day to glorify God and celebrate being alive. In Christ you have a new way at looking at life, Jesus can teach you to go for the openings instead of spending your life running into trees.
How are you Church? I’M BLESSED. My prayer is that you will know that you are blessed. My prayer is that you will wake up in the morning and say good morning lord instead of good lord it’s morning. I’M Blessed.
Is this positive thinking? Absolutely. But oh so much more. It is a new way of seeing life…open the eyes of my heart lord…I want to see you….Blessed…James…teaching you aspect of the blessed life….teaching you to see the openings in the trees.
1. To experience the blessed life, you must learn to practice living the blessed life. Read the book of James…thinking what is this teaching me about living a blessed life. The whole book of James emphasizes this:
First week-blessed are those who persevere…listen we will still have problems…we will have struggles…
Consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials of all kinds…perseverance faith, growth…look for the openings.
Second week…look in the mirror…don’t just look and then go away, apply what you learn…see who you really are and ask Jesus to change…you change through loving Him…learn to look differently at your own life…learn to live the examined life…
Last week…don’t practice preferential …some wealthy some not…practice caring for people…
Don’t get caught in the melodramatic nonsense of this age.
- -faith without works…dead…apply faith to your life
- -taming the tongue…
- -there are two kinds of wisdom…wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy…good fruits…unwavering without hypocrisy…and the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Ski through the openings.
2. How? Learn how to be a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers…Somebody has been teaching classes on peacemaking.
Where do quarrels come from? Some people wish to blame God…it couldn’t be that we are a part of the problem…let no one say I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted by evil and He himself doesn’t tempt anyone. Oh it must be the devil…Each one is tempted when he is carried and enticed by his own lust…lust conceived gives birth to sin, sin is accomplished it brings death…James 1:15.
READ JAMES 4:1-3. Notice…James is attempting to teach you how to live an examined life…he is trying to teach you how to be a peacemaker, trying to teach you how to ski through the openings in life.
WE DESIRE…pick a desire any desire…it can be a selfish desire…it can be a godly desire. Sometimes our desires are simply are own lusts…look in the mirror…is this something really to glorify God?
Now you can have a godly desire and someone might be standing in the way of your reaching it. Learn to talk to the person about it. If still blocked trust God, seek fulfillment in Him. Ask God to help you to continue to grow and develop no matter what the other person does…pray for the other person…wait for progress, think of different ways to come at this in a godly way…perseverance.
I DESIRE…unmet desires can go deeper and deeper and deeper…moves to
I DEMAND. The more we want something, the more we can rationalize..the more we can think you know I really deserve this…I really wish I could have this…you know the people who are in the way are really insensitive….I DEMAND…When you start making demands…sniff out the idol.
IDOL…anything that gets in your heart before God. something other than God that you set your hearts on…something we love and pursue more than God…is there something you want so much…willing to hurt others to get?
I JUDGE…now you are just like the devil…resentment, judging, indignation, bitterness, condemnation…speculating about others motives…inflicting pain on others….
I PUNISH…inflicting pain on others…surge sign of an idol in the heart.
People are quarrelsome, creative ways to punish….stop talking…or you put down the other person…or sarcasm…manipulation….downright abusive…the list goes on and on…learn to glorify God with as many shades as we have learned to hurt others.
3. DOES DESIRE-DEMAND-JUDGE-PUNISH SOUND LIKE THE ABUNDANT LIFE? THE BLESSED LIFE?
Why is this in James…He is showing us what steals the abundant life. And he is showing us how to live differently.
- He gives greater grace
- Grace to the humble
- Submit yourselves to God
- Draw near to God
- Humble self in the presence of God.
Do you think worship is important…praise Him…sing to Him…love Him…fill your heart with this!
Work backwards through the progression of an idol…
How am I punishing others? How am I judging others? What am I demanding? What is the root desire of my demands…
Learning to submit yourselves to God.
SUBMIT…I love that word…partly because it is a word out of favor….submit…oh so contrary to how we think…ski through the opening. Submit to the Lord.
How is this glorifying God…when you learn to really ask that…freedom…you no longer have to desire demand judge punish…the Lord is in charge.
CONCLUSION: COME TO JESUS.