The Test of Faith - Wars and Fights Within, Part 2
Passage: James 4:1–4:3
James arrives at the topic of relational conflict. Every person here is most likely familiar with relational conflict in some form.
The reason why we experience are to expect conflicts is because we live in the sinful world and the effects of sin are pronounced.
1A. THE CAUSE OF RELATIONAL CONFLICT (4:1-3)
1B. Notice the description of relational conflict (4:1a,2)
Relational conflict is worse than you think. Our sinful tendency is to minimize the seriousness of relational conflict and our role and responsibility in it.
Wars and fights among us reveal the presence of sin. Consider that the language of James intensifies as we move through the text. The wars and fights in verse 1 are described as murder and coveting in verse 2. James began with a human assessment of wars and fights then he moves to the divine assessment of murder and coveting.
2B. Notice the diagnosis of relational conflict (4:1b)
Consider the wisdom of God which tells us that discerning the cause of relational con-flict is simpler than you think.
When you examine closely every relational conflict, you will find an unsatisfied, sinful craving. Why do I war and fight? Because I don’t get what I want. And when we don’t get want we want, we go to war, and we fight.
3B. Notice the deviation of relational conflict (4:2b-3)
James reveals that the presence of conflicts also exposes a deficiency in my spiritual life, particularly my prayer life. Either by not praying or praying with the wrong motive.
Resolving conflict is easier than you think because every conflict is a call to prayer. We pray knowing that every good and genuine gift that we need comes from our loving Heavenly Father and all we have to do is ask.
2A. THE CURE TO RELATIONAL CONFLICT (4:4-17)