James 4:1-10 continues to be one of the most significant passages of Scripture that the Holy Spirit is using in recent years to awaken my heart and mind to the reality of idolatry within me. The more I grow in the grace of Christ the more the Spirit labors to form the image of Christ within me. This deep, lasting work takes place in the heart—at the level of my heart's desires. As He sanctifies me, I am enabled to see more and more of the onion-like layers that need to peeled away so that the core of my being—my desires—are confronted with the truth of the gospel. The more He does this---at least for me---the more I feel like I want to begin the Christian life all over again. How hopeful it then becomes to remember that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23) because I need a fresh supply of them every morning. Great is His faithfulness and grace!
This past Lord’s Day, the Holy Spirit directed our guest preacher Paul Whitt to exposit James 4:1-10 and, like previous exposures to this passage, I felt like the Lord was doing another open-heart surgery on me. Here are some short, pointed statements made by the preacher that were particularly convicting to me, personally.
- “Rebellion = believing a lie about ourselves.”
- “We must stop seeing ourselves as we want to be seen, but as God sees us.”
- “The bottom line behind all of our idols is ‘I want to be God. I will be in control.’”
- “Whatever makes you angry reveals an idol in your life.”
- “When we are worldly then we have a carefree attitude toward sin.”
- “A dissatisfied heart is never content with itself, God, or other people.”
- “God is jealous for us; He desires our undivided attention.”
- “God’s jealousy is His continual seeking to protect His honor within us.”
- “How can He be jealous for me? One answer: GRACE!”
- “Humble prodigals always receive grace. God’s grace always flows to the lowest place.”
The longer I am a believer in Christ the more I realize how desperately I not only need God’s saving grace, but also His all-sufficient empowering grace to walk with Him by faith. May His grace and peace by yours today, as well.
To listen to the audio sermon click here.