Ezekiel 40:28-49; James 4:1-10; Psalms 118:1-7; Proverbs 24:30-34
NT: “What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely? But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:1-10 CSB)
What is the source and cause of wars and fighting? That is an age-old question. Many over the years have surmised that religion is the cause of wars. Probably because, at the surface, many wars have been between people of opposing religious beliefs. However, if you peel back the proverbial layers of the onion and get down to the root cause, what you will find is pride. Pride is the exaltation of self over everything and everyone else. Pride leads to self-serving, selfishness, envy and selfish ambition. Earlier in chapter 3, James said that whenever and wherever those things are present, you will find confusion, disorder and every evil thing. Pride takes what it wants instead of asking – and if it does ask, it asks only out of a self-serving, self-appeasing motive.
Pride is the foundation on which the kingdom of darkness is built on. Pride is the core motivation for all of the devil’s activities. Satan seeks to exalt himself above all others, especially God, and when we give into the exaltation of ourselves, we actually end up bowing the knee to Satan. Pride is completely opposed to everything godly and is completely contradictory to all that God is. God resists the proud. Whenever you step into pride, you step away from God and remove yourself from any of His goodness.
How do we bring an end to war and strife and incapacitate pride? We humble ourselves. How do we resist the work and influence of the devil in our life? We first submit to God. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is all about having an accurate understanding of yourself and placing others before yourself. Instead of exalting yourself, humility is ultimately about coming under the Lord and Creator of all things and placing your trust and faith in Him. By humbling ourselves, we are rinsed of the evil of pride, allowing us to draw near to God to receive of His life, peace and grace. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us and welcomes us in. From that place, we are able to effectively resist the devil… because we are submitted to and under the covering of God. From that place of humility and nearness to God, instead of having to exalt ourselves, God will exalt us. Instead of having to take things we want, God will lavishly give us the things we need. It all begins with humility.
Psalms: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and put me in a spacious place. The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? The Lord is my helper; therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.” (Psalms 118:1, 5-7 CSB)
When we humble ourselves and submit to the Lord. When we trust Him above ourselves and place our faith in His love and goodness, there is no need to fear. The Lord is for those who place their faith in Him – but He resists those who trust in themselves.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You perfectly exemplified humility. You submitted Yourself completely to the will of the Father and placed my need for salvation before the desires of Your fleshly body. Because You walked in humility, I can now walk in humility as I remain in You through faith. I choose to humble myself, submit to You, and resist all the works of the enemy. Help me to remain humble before You, so that my life can bring You the greatest glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.