What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore 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, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched 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.
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:1-12
I remember when I was preaching through James, I was stopped by a woman on the street as I was walking my kids home from school. She said "I don't like James, it's such a judgmental book!" At times, I'd say I would agree...but only when I know it's speaking directly to me. We do that with scripture, don't we? When we're convicted, we claim judgement when we should be looking at ourselves and seeing what the Holy Spirit is offended by in us! And yet, that is the world we live in. We easily judge others. We look down on others, and tell them what we think they should be doing, but the reality is many of us project our own insecurities on to everyone else in the disguise of "helping them out." Whenever I've said "I wish so-and-so would hear this," it's been a message that was meant directly for me.
This makes me wonder (reading the above verse in James) is God resisting me? Am I being too proud to see that the Holy Spirit is trying to work on me?Am I not recieving what I'm asking for because I am giving cause to my flesh? God IS for us, but we can't recieve such a wonderful gift if we're prideful. Jesus said to the Pharisees "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Why? Because they could not see the need for salvation because of righteous ideas they came up with for themselves. And, if I am honesty with myself, I can be the chief of arrogant, self-righteous Pharisees. In these cases, God does, and has resisted me, so that I may be made humble. Is God resisting you? What needs to change?