Something that causes a person to act in a certain way.
"Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you do ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives." James 4:1-3
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
We remember our children arguing or fighting over a toy that they wanted. The argument usually went: "I had it first." "No you didn't." "I was playing with it before you were." "No you weren't." "Yes I was." Does that sound familiar? When a child fights over a toy we see it as the result of immaturity.
Even if you do not have children and haven't experienced hearing arguing in their childish ways, no doubt as a child you can remember being involved in arguing and fighting with a sibling or a friend.
Fighting and quarreling is not limited to children. Fighting and quarreling is a major problem in our world today. It is causing over half of the marriages today to end up in divorces. Fighting often leads to killing and many are in prison because they carried a quarrel too far. Wars between nations have been going on for centuries and most begin with a quarrel of some sort.
James asks a thought provoking question in the verses we have written above. He asks us what motivates us to fight and quarrel. Then he gives us the answer. James says that quarreling comes from our evil desires that battle within us. We want something but do not get it.
Our sinful nature motivates us to want more than we have. We want more money, more possessions, more power and anything else that we think will elevate our status in life. Unfortunately, there are people in life that when they do not get the things they want they are motivated to fight for them -- even to the point of killing for them.
James does give us a remedy. He tells us that we do not have because we do not ask God and we cannot receive because we ask with the wrong motives. God is the remedy for quarreling and fighting because He is the only one that can help us get rid of our selfish desires. God cannot help us do that until we are willing to submit ourselves to Him and ask Him to change us to conform to what His desires are for us. He desires us to ask Him to forgive our sins, to accept Him as our Savior and to trust Him to give us what we need. Only then can we pray and ask God for what we desire and expect to receive what we ask for.
Our memory verse for this week is found in 1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgive me Lord, for the times I have let my evil desires become the motive for arguing and fighting. Help me to submit my evil desires to You. Help me to trust You for all my needs and keep my motives in life to be for what Your will is for me.