11/9/16 “THE CURE FOR STRIFE AND CONFLICT” – Pastor Shane Idleman

If you want to stay up on the latest audio messages from Westside Christian Fellowship, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

Complete Sermon Notes

The Cure For Strife And Conflict

JAMES PART SIX: 11/09/16

INTRO: Written to Christians outside of Palestine – our default nature has to be rebuked often.

  • The three ways to fail in life: Blame and Complain and not be Grateful.

  • Why is it so important to address this?

We’ve become very good at avoiding conviction – if a person dares to challenge us, we make excuses.

1. Be open and teachable – recognize that their is crack in the armor.

  • PRIDE puffs up – like a Balloon

JAMES 4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.

When the Flesh Controls Your Life, Strife and Conflict are inevitable.

  • All types of wars – pride sparks the flame: critical spirit, fault-finder, defensive, self-focus and superficial.

  • My “desires” say – feed me so I can destroy you.

2…Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

A] A diminished prayer life – the desire for pleasure diminishes the work of the Spirit – praise and worship are stifled, spiritual growth is halted, and joy and peace are nowhere to be found. Sin is a heavy weight of bondage that affects every area of life.

B] A self-focused prayer life

David Wilkerson’s article http://sermons.worldchallenge.org/en/node/33654 – Paul asked the Galatian church, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:7-9.)

He is asking, “What’s in your life that keeps you from going on in the full blessing of Christ? You were doing so well at one time. I know you to be a praying people, and you labor diligently to do good works, but something is wrong. I don’t see you growing anymore. Instead, you’ve gone back to relying on your flesh. I don’t sense the sweet aroma of Christ you once had…Something’s hindering you. “What could have persuaded you to settle in this condition?”

Whatever it is, I tell you it’s not of God…Something is clouding you, something you may be holding on to… What leaven has crept in?” – “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).

Lust diminishes the work of the Spirit – praise and worship are stifled, spiritual growth is halted, and joy and peace are nowhere to be found. Sin is a heavy weight of bondage that affects every area of life.

  • Prayer is stifled when lust controls us.

  • Cheating on God – the covenant of commitment and love has been broken.

2. Be filled with the Spirit and emptied of self

4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Spiritual Adultery – Cheating on God

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. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

  • Friendship with the world leads to conflict and strife.

  • Giving our heart to another: “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY – “I don’t love you anymore – I’m moving on.”

3. Return to the marriage covenant- 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists [withstands against] the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

BUT – in spite of my neglect He offers grace: unmerited and undeserved favor.