• The Way To Spiritual Strength
• James 4:1-10
• What does it take to acquire spiritual strength?

• Introduction
• Spiritual health and fitness is no secret.
• From the looks of a lot of us, we need it.
• Getting in shape physically is hard work: disciplined diet & exercise are two key components we must do.
• Getting in shape spiritually is also hard work,
• And we really have to give a better effort to our soul than our body.
• But the benefits will last for eternity.

• Introduction
• Signs that we need to get in shape:
• Physically: over weight; lack of mobility; that certain dress size; our overall feeling of energy or lack thereof and so on.
• Spiritually: not enough Bible reading; hanging around the wrong crowd; distractions all around; do not know very much about God or the church or the issues facing the church.

• James 4:1
“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?”
• Usually this happens when someone does not get their way.
• Acting like little brats who scream in the store when mommy tells them “NO!”
• We have a conflict in each of us.
• Galatians 5:16-17

• James 4:2
“You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask”.
• Self-centeredness is the focus of this passage.
• That is everyone’s problem where strife exists.
• Many emotions played upon and assigning motives needlessly,
• When sometimes, all you have to do is ask

• James 4:3
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
• Kids ask for some things, and the parents know better (sometimes they don’t)
• We ask God for things not knowing whether it is for our good.

• James 4:4
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God”.
• God wants us to be separate from the world and all it offers, because all the world offers is called sin and is opposed to God.
• Just look at our world today, and notice the hostility towards the Bible and Christians

• James 4:5
“Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose; “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us’?”
• Some quote this as “The Spirit which He has made to dwell in us jealously desires us”.
• God is so interested in our welfare that He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us to avoid sin.

• James 4:6
“but He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble”.”
• Pride is one of the worst of sins and most despised by God.
• Speaking of humility can take many sermons.
• James continues to teach us how to be humble.

• James 4:7
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.
• Voluntarily place yourself under God.
• Many people think that submitting to God will cause them to miss out on their hopes and dreams they have for themselves.
• Little do they realize that by submitting to God that they will have hopes and dreams fulfilled that are far greater than what they imagined.

• How do we submit to God
• Simple answer:
• Do what He says.
• Follow His plan of salvation: Hear His word and believe it. Repent of your sins; confess the name of Jesus as your Lord and Master; and be baptized for the remission of your sins.
• Obey His law faithfully as long as you live.

• How do we resist the devil?
• Simple answer:
• Just say “No!”
• “Resist” is a military term meaning to repel the advance of the enemy. Hold your ground; remain steadfast; don’t give up.
• In order to resist we need to know his battle plans, and we know his only goal is to keep us out of heaven and off the straight and narrow path that leads there.

• James 4:8
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.
• A lit match and a candle wick have to come together and interact with each other for the candle to continue burning.
• If we make the effort to get closer to God,
• God is waiting and anxious for us to do this that He actually brings Himself closer to us to allow this to happen.

• Draw near to God
• Realign your will to God’s way.
• Hate sin like God hates sin.
• Pursue the purity of your mind.
• Being conformed to the very image of Christ as we seen in 1 John 3:3.

• Cleanse and Purify
• Our hands symbolize our work, and when we have worked for the devil they are dirty, thus the need to wash our hands.
• Purify our hearts means to clean out all the impurities, sins, adulteries, hatred, everything that is bad.
• We must realign our will to be in conformity to His will.

• James 4:9
“Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom”.
• As Christians we are to be joyful and rejoice.
• This passage tells us that sin is a serious matter and it is better to be sorrowful about our sin to the point that we are willing to renounce it and repent of it.

• James 4:10
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you”.
• Our duty is to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
• We are not saved by our works, but by His grace through our faith (Ephesians 2:10).
• Humility can be our safeguard to keep us from sin.

• Conclusion
• Becoming spiritually strong is no secret.
• It just requires a lot of effort and diligence.
• As long as we follow the instructions from God, we will be safe.
• In the end, after we have done this, God will exalt us to the glory that is shared by Christ.
• Isn’t this something grand to look forward to?
• Now, where are you spiritually, today?

By Carey Scott

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