Take a moment and read James 4:1-10.
This past weekend I watched, for the first time, most of the Star Wars movies. I never caught the bug until everyone and their mother raved about the latest "The Force Awakens." I was visiting my family in Missouri and they all wanted to go see the new one in theaters, so I spent two days catching up on episodes IV-VI, and then finally watched the latest addition. For the record, I fell into the Star Wars admirers club!
A constant theme in the series is the battle between the light side and the dark side in the force. I won't go into detail for the sake of not spoiling for those who have yet to watch it (but hurry!), however, anyone who has watched the movies would know it's a constant tension. This allure, this call, to give in to one's selfish and dark (dare I say worldly) desires over remaining pure and committed to the light side.
I can't help thinking about the parallels between this imagery and our own internal struggle. It's exactly what I thought of when reading James 4 today. Nobody is exempt from the draw this world offers in its lies, manipulation, lust, and self-fulfillment. I've witnessed the (apparent) noblest fall to utter shame and ruin. I wrestled my own demons many times as the past and future call for my attention.
In James 4 our attention is called to the tug-of-war between good and evil over our souls. The chapter begins with a lesson for us all. Many think in their quarrels there is some outside cause, however, verse 1 identifies that quarrels and strife instead come from within. That the reason for so many of our failures and sins come from within. That we can be our own worst enemy! Convicting, huh?
James goes further to explain that the reason we may not get what we pray for is that because our desires do not align with Gods in the first place. Furthermore, our motives are not pure.
James gives us a strong warning that we must refrain from the world's allure. To no longer align ourselves with the world. There are many more tidbits in this passage I hope you'll absorb as your read it for yourself, but my hope for you as you take this in would be a strong conviction to remain true to the calling of God.
When conflicts arise internally and your battling to choose right or wrong, choose right. Choose God! When we humbly go to Him there is grace. Verse 8 declares that when you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.
It also says that friendship with the world makes you an enemy to God. That is not a place you want to be in! Any worldly satisfaction is temporary anyway while good standing with God leads to eternal security. What side will you choose? The light or the dark?
Is there any turmoil you face now? What is tempting or calling to you that you need to overcome?
How can you approach these moments and come out on the other end victoriously?