HE Christian life is a real struggle, both inside and out. We struggle against the world. We struggle against the invisible forces of evil. We struggle among ourselves. And, we struggle within ourselves. Of course, if it weren't for our surviving natural nature, our spiritual journey would be more peaceful. But, until death parts us from our body, we will continually face this dilemma. According to James the source our conflicts is internal (James 4:1). Our old Adamite nature is selfish and self-centered. We naturally want our own way. We naturally seek to satisfy our own covetous hearts. We tend toward pride and ambition (and not noble ambition either). As a result, when someone stands in the way of our agenda: Voilà! Conflict. James teaches us here that unfortunately this model is not unusual in the church. It's evil, but sadly very common. What church have you known that never had a conflict or a disagreement about its direction?
Now, James gives the solution for this problem. In every case, we should take our desires to the Lord in prayer (vs. 2). Sometimes God will have to adjust our passions; giving us new desires. But there will also be many times when He will simply grant our wish (vs. 2-3). Especially as we learn to humble ourselves and yield our wills to the will of God, we will find God's grace generously distributed to us (vs. 4-6). Victory over the world, the conquest of our flesh, and the defeat of the devil – these all come through submission to God & through fellowship with His dear Son (vs. 7-8). To put it simply: the way up is down (vs. 9-10). Humility is the key to avoiding conflict. Spiritual humility in action (vs. 15) opens doors of opportunity.