War! Huh! Where Did It Come From?
Think about the last argument you had with someone.
-Get examples of arguments people have had recently with peers, teachers, siblings, parents…. Break them down to the lowest common denominator—desire for pleasure that war in our members.
Think about the last fight you had with someone.
- Get examples of fights people have had recently with peers, teachers, siblings, parents…. Break them down to the lowest common denominator—desire for pleasure that war in our members.
Think about some of the wars that the United States has been involved in.
Get examples of wars we have had. Break them down to the lowest common denominator—desire for pleasure that war in our members.
James 4:1 “1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?”
Sometimes it is a little more obvious to see that war raging inside of us than at other times. For example, let’s say you and your brother are on a trip to Pensacola. You have to pick a restaurant. Your brother wants Five Guys, and you want Wendy’s. So you put him in a headlock, spin him around and give him a Diamond Cutter right there in the parking lot. He’s unconscious so you get to pick the restaurant. In that example was it easy to see evil desire warring within you? That little conflict wasn’t the fault of Wendy’s or Five Guys. It was the fault of the evil desires that are warring within you. Many people fall victim to that misconception. Let’s look at another example. Let’s say it isn’t you and your brother arguing over where to eat dinner, it’s your mom and dad. And instead of your mom Diamond Cutting your dad on the pavement, they get a divorce. Is it Five Guys and Wendy’s fault for their divorce? No. They just make delicious burgers. Change it again. You get an F on a test. Your dad says you’re grounded for a month. Your mom says you’re grounded for two months. They start arguing back and forth and finally get divorced. Whose fault was it that they got divorced? The fallacy is that we begin thinking, “If only I would have studied more. If only I wouldn’t have flunked that test.” There is no example where a child would ever have been the reason for a divorce. If someone is telling you differently, let me know and I’ll Diamond Cut them in the parking lot.
People argue, people fight, people get divorced, people start wars because of evil desires for their own pleasure that is warring within them. What makes an evil desire evil? No regard for the other person whatsoever. Three examples:
-One day I was sent to the store by my babysitter to buy Diet Pepsi. I didn’t like Diet Pepsi, so I spent the whole trip back from the store throwing that 2 liter bottle as high as I could and watching it hit the hard concrete until…kaboom! My evil desires for pleasure overtook my rationality and decency.
A wedding day--something girls dream about for years and years. Finally, she meets the man of her dreams, he pops the question and she begins the extensive plans—her dreams are finally coming to reality. Then the big day comes and goes off without a hitch, and then comes the wedding night. Sex is a beautiful gift from God given to and exclusively for married men and women. She had saved herself for marriage so she could offer that gift to her husband on their wedding night. Then her fairy tale dreams came crashing down around her when her brand new husband raped her on their wedding night. His evil desire for pleasure had no regard for his wife.
Poland, Austria, and France were getting along just fine, and then one day Hitler, with his evil desires for his own pleasure, thought he would do a better job of ruling them than they were doing ruling themselves. So he took them over with fierce violence. His evil desire for pleasure had no regard for the people he was killing and ruling over.
James goes on to say in verses 2-3, “2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
You all know I am a huge Buckeye fan. Back in 2002, the Buckeyes won the National Championship in football. I was reading a magazine devoted to that perfect season, and they quoted Jim Tressel, the then Buckeye coach. I remembered the quote because it struck me at how out of place it seemed. Tressel said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “I just told our guys, ‘Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.’ You’ll never win a National Championship until you realize it’s more than just what it can do for you.” National Championships, Super Bowl Championships, World Series Championships are all very big deals. It can make good players and coaches into great players and coaches. It makes people great players into legends. Like it or not, you become role models for every little boy in the state. You will have opportunities to use the elevated platform of your success for the good of society, or to make yourself into an idol.
We may never have the opportunity to become a National Champion, or win a Super Bowl, but God has plans in store for us. He has plans to give us jobs, bank accounts, cars, and positions of authority and status, but He won’t give us any of that if we don’t ask, and if we do ask, we ask with the wrong motivation.
So what’s it going to be? Your plans with your evil desire for pleasure, or God’s plans for you?