Conflict Can Cultivate Conformity to Christ: Part I
(I am going to skip some chapters because the other chapter posts are on my laptop which is not happy as of late.)
I. Why do we have conflict in relationships?
James explains that conflict arises because of the war that goes on within. Our hedonistic desires for ungodly pleasures, fleshly lusts, and worldly enjoyments rise up against the new spirit we have in Christ. Our desires, which on the surface are not sinful, morph into SIN.
6 digressive steps of DESIRE:
1. DESIRE- says I would like... (acknowledging God's sovereign plan)
2. DEMAND- says I must ...
3. DETERMINATION- says I will ...
4. DESERVE- says you should .. (your "rights")
5. DISAPPOINTMENT- says you didn't ...(false expectations)
6. DEFENSE- says because you didn't, I will ...
Ok, by this time in the sermon I was ready for it to be over! My heart was so convicted. I thought about that day and so many, if not the majority, of the frustrations I felt stemmed from not seeking the will of God in relationships. If you are already convicted hold on to your seat here comes round 2.
6 categories your desires morph into:
1. COMFORT-fear of hardwork
2. PLEASURE-fear of pain
3. RECOGNITION-fear of being overlooked
4. POWER-fear of being told what to do
5. CONTROL-fear of unpredictability *ok my heart almost exploded
6. ACCEPTANCE-fear of rejection
Oh, my heart hurts to remember the times that day I sought my own comfort instead of God's will or I became frustrated when things did not conform to my comfort. I went down the list. When you simplify (I guess I mean break down) your emotions and responses to the point where you can see the reality of you sin it is overwhelming! I felt like an area of skin that had been itched and itched and itched, RAW. But, the sermon did not end there!
II. What is more important to me than my relationships with God?
-perhaps love of the world? James uses two situations to explain the seriousness of our love of flesh.
First, it is like an adulterous relationship. The implication is that we are covenanted to God and the friendship with the world is betrayal of that intimate relationship (the impact of sin). Wow! If you have not personnally experienced this hurt you know others who have. Whether or not you have speficially experienced this or not we all know it is painful. Apply that to the relationship with God. We are causing pain to our Heavenly Husband by "sleeping with the world", so to speak.
The second illustration is that of war; enemies of God. The implication is that we are friends of God, which hold great comfort but also great consequence when that relationship is broken. Think of the famous analogy of two brothers fighting on opposite during the civil war. One brother has the other in his sights ready to sqeeze the trigger. (I know a bit dramatic!)
I have to begin to see my sin for what it is, as well as its effects on my relationship with Christ and others.
There are two other points and major applications that I will continue in the next post. Thanks for sticking with me!