Focus Day 10 A Holy Submission: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out A Holy Submission!

The Questions

1) What is the war waging within us?

2) How can we submit to God?

3) Is there a difference between a healthy rebuke and criticism?

James 4:1-12

1 What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? 2 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. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

4 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. 5 Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely?

6 But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says:

God resists the proud,

but gives grace to the humble.

7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Original Intent

1) What is the war waging within us?
At creation, the world was as it should be (Genesis 1). Perfect communion with the Holy Creator was enjoyed by Adam and Eve. From the fall of man, when Adam and Eve chose sin over righteousness, Scripture shows how that all of humanity is under the curse of making that same choice. Follow God’s way, or follow the way of self. James was writing to the church and exhorting them to pay attention to the “passions” that were stealing their affections from God and placing them on whatever cheap substitute they had selected that week. He was encouraging them to put aside their own fallen desires of self-interest to follow God’s best for them. Keep in mind that James was writing to believers, which means they already had the power to choose God’s ways over their own because the Holy Spirit lived inside of them. If they were not believers, they would have had no hope of consistently choosing righteousness over sin.

2) How can we submit to God?
James used many teachings from both Proverbs and Jesus to show the connections of the truths he wanted to emphasize as he wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Here we see how both Proverbs 3:34 and Matthew 23:12 are referenced in the verse prior to the charge to submit to God. Both places in Scripture point to one word as the solution. Humility. James recognized the attitude of humility as being central to the ability to surrender one’s fleshly desires and place them under God’s perfect will.

3) Is there a difference between a healthy rebuke and criticism?
James shows us the repercussions of criticism. He says that whoever passes judgement has broken the commandment to Love the Lord Your God and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself (Matthew 22:36) along with taken God’s job of being Judge away from Him. He points out the stupidity of doing such a thing! Yet, at the end of the book of James, he writes “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)
The difference in these two situations is the heart. Criticism comes from a desire to elevate oneself at the expense of another. Loving rebuke comes after seeing someone struggling in sin and, out of genuine concern for their soul, calling them out on it. James clearly differentiates the two here for the church.

Everyday Application

1) What is the war waging within us?
We face the same war the early church was facing. The enemy is still trying to convince us that what we plan or want in our flesh is more important that what God has prepared for us. We should be aware of this battle and stand ready to actively fight against it! James says, “The spirit He (God) made to dwell in us envies intensely” (verse 5). The Lord longs for us to choose Him, and in His graciousness, He gave us a tremendous resource to battle against the devil: His own Spirit! Since we live in a time in history when we have access to the whole Scriptures being revealed, we also have the hope of the return of King Jesus! He will restore all of creation back to its original design and we can have perfect communion with our Holy Creator once more! In the meantime, before that final restoration, we, as Christians, have access to the wisdom of God through His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. At any moment when we are tempted to choose sin over the Savior, we can pray and ask for His power to overcome temptation!

2) How can we submit to God?
The answer of how to submit to God still lies in the idea of humility for us today. Daily choosing to say, “God I choose to follow You”, allows my heart to follow what my brain is consciously choosing. When I earnestly pray this prayer, I am more prepared for the moments when my All-Knowing Lord moves my chess piece in life a different way than I would’ve chosen. It’s on the days when I’m in a rush and don’t spend time at His feet that trip me up. Those days are when I get all bent out of shape that God would dare do something I did not plan. Yikes! Join me sister in sitting daily before the throne of grace so we can more readily have an attitude of humility!

3) What difference is there between a healthy rebuke and criticism?
It is much easier to criticize someone than to rebuke them. Our social media culture has especially enflamed the idea of a slam as an appropriate response. Before deciding to speak, type, or text a comment, take a litmus test of the heart. Why do you want to respond? Is your desire for their good…or your own? Have you asked the Lord about this or is it a knee-jerk reaction? Let’s choose to speak life into those around us rather than put out the fire in their souls. Choose wisdom over puffing up ourselves!

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with A Holy Submission!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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