Fight & War:

Christians are God’s children. Like all children we can forget what our Heavenly Father has taught us and quickly slide back into our old, selfish ways. If not checked, greed takes hold of our hearts and cause us to fight and war with our brothers and sisters.

Podcast 49 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello, and good day. I am B. R. Maul, and you are listening to the podcast Living God’s Way In An Ungodly World. Here is where we talk about what our Heavenly Father tells us to do as born again believers. As children of God, putting aside our opinions and our differences and just going straight to the Word to find out how we handle issues of today. And of course, everything else that the Lord has place as guidance in the Bible. So good to have you with me here today.

Currently we are in the book of James and we will be starting chapter four. But before we do that, for those of you who do not know who I am. I am a teacher and a preacher of the Word of God, nothing extravagant about me. I am a child of God and it’s the spiritual gift the Lord has given me to teach and to preach and so I am doing the best I can to do just that, to serving those who are listening in hopes that you are learning and serving my Heavenly Father by reaching out, by going out into all nations and making disciples. If you have any questions, you are welcome to go to my website at and send me an email.

Let’s get started, shall we? In the book of James, chapter 4, as usual, I will read. the scripture, and then I’ll go back and break it down. Today, I’ll be going through verses 1 through 6. Chapter 4, verses 1 through 6, reads,

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members you lust and do not have you murder and covet and cannot obtain you fight and war yet you do not have because you do not ask you ask and you do not receive because you ask a miss that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, the spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously? Verse 6, But he gives more grace, therefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Here ends the reading. Heavenly Father, I ask you to guide my mouth. Let not words of my own escape, but only those that are teaching. Your word and I ask Lord to open the hearts or to soften the hearts of those Listening that you are using this message to touch them I pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ Amen.

Looking at verse 1 where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? Remember, James is talking to believers. Sometimes, reading this passage, it’s a little difficult to keep that in mind, because some of the verbiage he uses in this part of the chapter, to me, often can throw me off, like he’s talking to the heathen, but he’s not. He is talking to brothers and sisters in the faith. So when he talks about wars and fights in the verbiage from among you, some scholars translate that among you as in you. So if that’s the case, then we’re looking at issues or problems in the heart, in the very person. But really it goes hand in hand because whether it is among you or in you, either way that creates problems because when we have issues, fights and wars, and we have this greed, the destruction may definitely be on the outside fighting amongst one another but that wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a problem inside. So either way we look at it these wars and fights, whether we are warring and fighting in ourselves, causes fights and wars among ourselves. It doesn’t matter. But those are some pretty harsh words. Wars and fights.

And do they not come from your desires for pleasures? That’s our greed and greed is certainly the underlining sin that causes so much mischief amongst believers, which is really unfortunate, but the powers of the of this world really is getting stronger. And the reason I say that is because it seems like there are so many things available to us, whether it is on the internet, in the stores, manufacturing products, choices that we have, things to buy, to please us, is just more abundant. We can look back a hundred years ago compared to now, for example, and many of those pleasures that we have today didn’t exist.

As simple as being on the computer, the internet, being able to shop online, pornography, all this stuff is just a tap of a button away. But even other things, fancier cars. More food, more easily accessible, I should say, with fast foods and all the commercial chains, the restaurants. There’s so much available to us now and so easily available that it makes wanting all the more difficult to fight.

And we go right back then to the warring that is in us, but at the same time that causes us to war and fight amongst each other. Verse two, he goes on to say, you lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war, yet you do not have because you do not ask. So many of our issues with wanting would be taken care of.

And this is just for Christians. If we would just bring it to our heavenly Father. If we would pray to him about it. But the problem is we lust after things and then we go about trying to get it our own way. When he says, you murder and covet and cannot obtain. So looking into this line about murder, remember he’s talking to the church, he’s talking to followers of Christ.

How they were murdering, I’m not really sure. And I did a little research on that and there seems to be some speculation. And one of those, which to me makes sense would be in murdering in the sense of not caring for. And so if the rich were going after the poor, because remember, these Christians were acting just like the world that James is talking about, taking each other to court or just stealing perhaps, but whatever it was, the murder, then they speculate could have been from those who had more power and were taking from those who didn’t have much.

So even as simple as not letting them eat. Greed, it’s evil and truly corrupts the human heart. And he repeats you fight and war. Have you ever fought with a loved one over perhaps something that is important to you or perhaps not anymore, but at the time, I’m surprised at how many issues could be avoided among loved ones that even if we just asked each other how that would take care of problem, maybe asking is hurtful to our pride and so people sometimes don’t want to ask people want others to be able to just know what it is They want and need And then to give it to them? I don’t know. But sometimes in our mind, we can draw something up that seems to be a very big deal.

I see this and hear about it the most when somebody passes away and leaves behind their belongings. And Loved ones go in and they start to divvy up these belongings and whether they were left to them in a will or not it doesn’t matter because it seems like that’s where the fighting begins. Even if the deceased person left it to somebody specifically. And yet somebody else or others also want that item, then to them it is unjust, it is unfair.

And so family members can go years complaining about that so and so took this item or that item, and they shouldn’t have received it because of this reason or that reason. I should have, or just somebody else, you know, my other brother or sister, whatever it might be. But suddenly these items are so important, but instead of just coming out and talking to the siblings and expressing, ‘I sure would like to have this item for this reason or that reason,’ and being cordial about it, there’s often the assumption of what he or she should already know, or they just assume they do know that means a lot to me.

That alone is heartbreaking, beloved, because, well, there should be no item on this earth that is more important than a loved one, than life. So even if that loved one isn’t somebody that we get along with. Remember, as Christians, we know that everything is going to burn. I’ve talked about this just recently.

No matter how hard we work, no matter how talented we are, no matter how wealthy we become, it doesn’t matter because someday it’ll just be left behind for others and then eventually everything is destroyed.

I’ve recently finished studying Revelation again, so that certainly touches greatly on the idea of thinking about the future, thinking about heaven. I take great comfort in knowing that there’s nothing that is going to remain. To me that’s a blessing. Think about the things that we have done that we’re not so proud about. All of it will be destroyed. If you built that shed and it was leaning and it just wasn’t the greatest thing that you’ve ever done. Well, it too will burn someday, so you don’t have to lose sleep over that.

James then has pointed out to us in verse 2 that one of the problems that we have is we don’t pray enough. You do not have because you do not ask. So I was using the example about talking to loved ones about things that we may want. That’s not what James is referring to. I’m just pointing out that speaking up and asking can solve many problems, or keep from problems starting up, but we don’t have because we just don’t ask.

I’m sure there are many reasons why we don’t. Some just need help with their unbelief. In their heart they don’t believe that the Lord can do it or will do it. And they just need help in exercising their faith. I think sometimes, though, it just comes down to our pride, and as much as we don’t want to ask for help, for example, from our neighbors and family and friends. Especially in America, we have this issue that success is somehow associated with being able to do things yourself, and that if you receive help, well, then you’re not as good or you’re, you’re not as successful.

I think other countries have this ironed out far better than we do in America, because there are countries who they know that the best thing to do is to help one another out. And it’s not about the individual, it’s about the community.

Verse three, he points out yet another problem we have. So in two, he shows us, well, you don’t have because you don’t ask. So we don’t pray. In verse three, we find that we also, if we do ask, we often have the wrong motive. Verse three, you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures. It has taken me a long time in my walk with the Lord to become more aware that the purpose of prayer is never to get my will done on this earth. Notice I said I’m more aware of it. I need to get to the point where I am fully realizing that it’s not my will that I need to accomplish. And I think what happens is it’s easy for me to go ahead and pray and ask the Lord for something. And truly it may be for overall a good thing, but I can still throw that selfishness in there because I can time my own needs into it.

So for a parent to pray for a child, whether school age or adult and on their own, but for that child to get over, let’s say a behavior issue. Okay. And so we pray for our son or daughter, “Lord, you know, help them to see the error of their ways and help them give them the knowledge, the wisdom to change that.” Now, on the surface, that seems to be just fine. However, if I have tied to that, selfish reasons such as, Lord, it’s embarrassing me, and I don’t want him or her to embarrass me or just the family in general. You see how easy we can quickly go amiss when he uses that word. You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss. For reasons to better our self. And of course there are just the blatant obvious prayers that I’m just looking to better myself.

For someone who wants a new car. And I have witnessed this personally myself. A brother in Christ who wants a new car. Something more fancy. Something that will turn heads when he drives by. And in his heart, he justifies it because he wants to help other Christians. He wants to show them how to succeed so they too can make more money to do things for God. And so in his mind, he justifies. “Lord, if you give me this, this really nice vehicle, well, then people will know I’m successful. They’ll come to me and I can help them become successful.”

You see how he wants to help other people? And I know he does. But the motivation behind it is still connected to the fact that, well, you know, it’s like saying, well, Lord, if you give me this brand new truck I’ll be able to help more people haul things around and I’ll be able to give rides and bring people to church. So, you see how easy it is to take something that we really want for ourselves, but then tie it in so it’ll benefit others as well. You know, it’s like trying to strike a deal with God. I’ve yet to be able to succeed in that. So perhaps somebody will someday enlighten me and say, “Hey, I know how to strike a deal with the Lord.” Of course, I’m being caustic because that’ll never happen.

The purpose of prayer is to get God’s will to be accomplished upon this earth. And so many times we ask and receive not because the motive behind our asking is really that of accomplishing something that we want. That easily happens when we lose sight of the fact that God is not subservient to us. He is not some genie that we just call upon when we want something or need something. We are subservient to Him. And even though we can offer Him nothing, He loves us. Well, let me correct myself. We do give Him our love. But even that, that’s something that He has given us to be able to give to Him because He is love. He is the author of love, and He knows that love must be given and not taken.

Let’s continue. Verse 4, James says, Adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Well, before I read some more of that…this is that verbiage that can throw me off at times. It’s like he’s talking to the heathen, because Christians should not be referred to as adulterers and adulteresses. Because if we are living that sinful life, and we are doing it willfully, well then, that’s one of those things that we need to stop and question if we are indeed born again. Because to be able to live a life like that, and still call oneself a Christian, well, one better do a double take, maybe drop down on the knees and pray. But James isn’t talking about that. He’s talking inwardly. spiritually. Just like in the Old Testament when the Israelites would start to make their own idols, that was committing adultery, spiritual adultery.

And why is that? Because we are referred to as His bride. And so for us just to walk around and spiritually give ourselves to idols, is cheating on God. Every day we have to make choices, how we spend the time that the Lord has given us. And it’s very easy to cheat and think that we’re giving God a whole bunch of our time. The question is, Are we really? Because the world has so much to offer. Think about where most people’s time truly is spent. We need sleep, so in the matter of 24 hours, all right, there’s eight to nine hours right there on average, give or take. And then there’s the workday, so there’s another 8 to 9 hours, maybe 10 with commute time.

And then of course there’s eating. And so, how many hours do we have left? Alright, let’s just say we have about 6 hours at any given day. Well, if you’re a parent, we need to take care of our kids. We’re married. So we also need to serve and take care of our spouse. And so far, these things, working a job, taking care of our family, are things that we are to do unto God. We are to do everything as if we are doing it for Him. But then there’s where that selfishness, that greed kicks in and we want that entertainment. We want that time for us, that time where I just need to relax. And this in and of itself, beloved, is not a bad thing because, sure, go ahead and watch that show or whatever it might be. But are we doing it in place of spending time with the Lord? Are we doing everything unto Him? Are we being lawful about it? Are we being morally right? Being righteous? Are we abiding by his commands? So in other words, are we watching shows where if Jesus was sitting right next to us, He too would enjoy.

Reading books or listening to music if we were reading that book aloud Would we hand it over to Jesus and say Jesus, “This is a good book to read.”? The music we listen to would we invite him to hear that song and any other pastime that you can fill in for yourself. Is it something that Jesus would do? Is it something that you would feel comfortable doing it with your Savior right there in the room, physically in the room? Because he is always with us and that is where we often make our mistake is because he isn’t physically standing right next to us where we can hug him and put our arm around him. We quickly forget that he is still with us.

So how we spend our time, well, we can easily get greedy with that and not only blatantly not open his word, not pray to Him, not worship Him, not come together with brothers and sisters in the faith to discuss Him, to talk about what He has done in our lives, to lift one another up, to pray for one another, but we can also start doing things in place of those things that we need to be doing with Him, walking with him and replace those with things that are shameful. Suddenly we’re watching movies and shows where everyone’s cheating on one another. Very graphic and gory. There’s no respect to the human body in the shows and movies we watch. We’re actually spending time that we could be using in doing something for somebody else.

Would we go out and sit at a bar and drink and act the way that sometimes people do, flirting with others, if the Lord was with you? There are so many things that we do we automatically assume it’s okay. God understands. But then James says in verse 4, Adulterers and adulteresses. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Friendship with the world. Beloved, that’s what I’m referring to when I say all these other things that we do. We are in this world, but as born again believers, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We are not to be of this world. We are not to be consumed by this world. We are to not make friendship with the world because the world is enmity with God.

So he goes on in verse four. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Do you, beloved, want to be an enemy of God. This is one of those sobering moments because we can easily assume and justify that what we are doing is no big deal. But I assure you that if you are born again, the Holy Spirit will indeed be telling you one way or another when you’re doing something that you should not be.

And you need to respond to that. Stop doing what it is. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to help you. Because some of those things we do because we’ve done it for so long. I have an example of that. Before I started walking with the Lord, I had about, oh, I probably averaged three different shows a night on cable that I looked forward to, probably four or five nights out of the week. At least two hours of programming. A couple of sitcoms and one or two night dramas. So we’ll just say two to three hours a night. As I started walking with the Lord, which is opening His word and reading it, as time went on the Holy Spirit began to point out things as I read the scripture. I would think about the shows I had been watching and realize it didn’t sit so well with the Holy Spirit. And even if I tried ignoring that, suddenly I realized while watching the programs, and I don’t even have the Bible open, the passages that I read. And the Holy Spirit begins to remind me once again. And in time, I am so grateful that the Lord has taken all of that from me. It didn’t happen overnight. There was some of the programming that suddenly Oh, man, they started to write in these LGBT characters, and that was one of those things which, for me, stood out, very obvious. As I was watching that, I started realizing, at the same time, the affairs they’re having, the things that they’re doing with one another, we buy into that. So one show after another, I started to stop watching.

And in time, even sitcoms. I noticed how the sitcoms that I was watching, I no longer was laughing at because I realized that even how people treated each other. The way husbands are often made out to be idiots and the kids and the sitcoms, they’re the geniuses that know better than mom or dad, and they disrespect mom and dad. And the, and the women, they’re not subservient to their husbands. No way, because that’s not the way of the world. No, they’re the career woman. They’re the matriarch in the family. They’re the ones who are in control of the family head of the family. And that’s hard for many in our modern time to really comprehend and go, you know what, that isn’t what God says.

I’m not saying that as Christians, we shouldn’t be watching anything, but beloved, I am telling you this. We don’t have much time. Our days are already. filled up. So we have to go out of our way to make time for things that are the most dear to us. And if you’re born again, that needs to be Christ. That needs to be opening up His Word and reading it, discussing with other people. It should be the highest priority, because everything is from Him.

I go as far to even say priority over work. That doesn’t mean that you don’t go to work, but it does mean that you don’t work two jobs. Or you don’t make it so complicated on yourself that you’re so wore out that you can’t do other things that the Lord has given you to do in life because you’re so busy making money. You’re so busy climbing the corporate ladder. That’s not good. That is being of this world.

Verse five. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, the spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously? Remember, the Holy Spirit lives in you, believer, child of God, that Holy Spirit lives in you. And the Holy Spirit does not want to share you, does not want us jamming other things into our heart saying you got to move over. There’s all this other stuff that I really like to do first.

1 John Chapter 2 verses 15 through 16 love not the world Neither the things that are in the world for he that hath the love of the world in his heart Has not the love of the Father for all that is in the world the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are of the world and are not of God.

If we continue just to run around and fulfilling the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, well, we’re certainly trying to pack in as much as we can. And we’re telling the Holy Spirit, you got to, you got to make more room. You got to suck it in a little bit there because I got some more stuff that I really need to do. I need to watch these programs. I need to do these things. I need to look a certain way. So I need to spend more time looking good. Whatever it is.

But God loves you so much, and the Spirit wants all of you. Everything that we do, we do unto the Lord. I am not claiming that I have this down pat, no. And I know that on this side of eternity, I won’t get it down pat because we wrestle with the flesh daily. The flesh and the Spirit war. But how often are we giving into the flesh? I hope and pray the longer you are born again with each passing day as you read His word and walk with fellow wise people that you see that and are overcoming the flesh far more than you used to when you were just a baby Christian, someone just recently born again.

Well, I shouldn’t say that because it’s not just recently born again. A baby Christian has everything to do with how in depth one is walking with the Lord. So a person can be born again and 20 years later, not having done anything or very, very little with the Lord, still be a baby Christian. Not understanding God’s Word, not being able to understand His will for you. Not being able to do what the Lord has placed in your heart because you haven’t even learned to listen to Him yet because you’re still just a little baby. So I pray that you are moving forward with your walk.

Verse 6, But he gives more grace. Isn’t that part beautiful? But he gives more grace. So even with us, His children, as we continue to mess up, He gives us more grace. His grace is abundant, and with that grace we can overcome. Hebrews 4 verse 16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace.

To help in time of need. And he knows that when we are struggling with these things, that is time of need. When we are struggling, wanting to fight and to war among one another because we are jealous, He has grace for us, but we need to go to Him. We need to go to our heavenly Father and ask for that, beg for it if you must, but He will give it to you freely. We are to go boldly to him. because you are his child. He has purchased you.

Verse 6 ends, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself, beloved. Throw that pride to the side. It is the pride that is behind every sin. Because pride tells us, I deserve this. And then greed kicks in. When we humble ourself, we can look at ourself and realize there’s nothing that I have done to deserve what God has given me. There is nothing that I have said that so intrigued God that he had to look my way. There’s nothing you have done that has impressed God Almighty where He just had to put your name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life because you’re just so amazing.

So to humble ourselves and be able to know that everything that we got is from God. And he loves us so much. If you have any questions go to my website, and click on contact. Get ahold of me. I’d love to hear how your walk with the Lord is going. I would love to hear how the Lord has changed you as you have walked with Him. What has he done? What has he taken from you that used to be a burden? Something that you used to maybe be addicted to and you really felt like you had to do this or watch this or see this or whatever it might be. I’d love to hear from you.

And until next time,

God bless.


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