James 4:1 – What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
In this passage in James, he gives a list of several ways we live “Hell up” or living in a way that brings traits from Hell into our lives here on earth, the opposite of living “Kingdom down”. He starts the list with the headline of things that “cause quarrels and…fights among you”, and the first is “passions…at war within you.”
What he’s saying here is that we’re not good people, we’re bad, and that things are not getting better, they’re getting worse. What they tell you in school is that you’re a good person that’s evolving, but school lied to you. It seems that we’re not good and getting better but bad and getting worse. If we’re honest, I would go into a school and reverse the evolutionary chart – we didn’t start as a monkey, but it seems like we as humanity are doing our best to get there eventually.
For how many of us, there are things inside us that we’re embarrassed by or ashamed of? How many of you are glad that instead of a forehead, God didn’t put a monitor to show your thoughts to the world? God sees and knows our thoughts, but it doesn’t stop there. Our problems and dark thoughts internally lead to issues that arise externally.
We tend to think we need self-help to change our behavior, but we truly need God-help where He changes us completely from the inside and gives us new passions and desires. The Christian life is not about becoming better, it’s about God making you new.
The word James uses here for passions and desires is the same root word for an English word we have called “hedonism”. There are two kinds of Satanism: one is a formal, spiritual, counterfeit of Christianity where instead of God, the Holy Spirit, worshippers, blessings, a pastor, and a church, there’s Satan, demonic spirits, spells, cursing, witches, and covens. Everything that God creates, Satan counterfeits.
The other form of Satanism is simply “You do you”. What happens is, if you do you, you can’t do God, because, until God changes your desires, they’re in conflict with His desires. Until God changes us, we’re the most dangerous person in our own lives.
When we have problems, pains, and perils, it’s easy to think about what everyone else said and did, but God is asking us to be honest. I’ve said it before but before God’s Word is not to be binoculars to look at others, it’s meant to be a mirror to examine ourselves.
If you just do whatever you want to do, without God making you new, you will self-destruct. You can spend all your time and energy blaming someone else or you can be honest, really evaluate yourself, and ask God to change those desires.
Do you have desires that are your own and not from God? Ask God to make you new and to change your desires to His desires.