Category Archives: James

Opposition: Satan vs God

When we talk about facing spiritual opposition in life the “go to” person to blame is typically Satan. His name, after all,  does mean an opponent or one who opposes so it makes sense that he is going to stand in our way from time to time. One reason he may be our “go to” guy is because we tend to think our way is the right one and so, if we are getting opposition, Satan must surely have something to do with it. But that is pride speaking.

Then there is this little verse that throws a monkey wrench into our nice, tidy theology from James 4:4-10

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

While it is tempting to think opposition we face is a sign the devil is at work we must also realize that God will oppose us to our face if and when necessary. When we are going God’s way Satan can and will oppose you for it. When you are going Satan’s way…God can and will oppose you for it. At the end of the day not all opposition comes from Satan. The reason some of our plans fail is because God didn’t think they were what needed to happen. It takes humility to recognize this. It doesn’t come natural to us.

The path of greatest resistance is the path of pride and the path of least resistance is the path of humility. It is the second that God exalts.

The next time your plans go south…ask yourself if there was something in all of that God may have been opposing. It may be an action or attitude…it may just be that the timing wasn’t right and God had other things in mind in order to produce more fruit later in a different field. You just cannot armchair quarterback the moves of God but you can put yourself in a posture to be used by the Lord and that posture is the posture of humility.

So be humble…just don’t let anybody know that is what you are up to!

James 1: Which Kind of Person Will You Be?

James starts his letter characterizing two types of people (click here to read James 1). The guy experiences trouble and out of that experience develops a mature faith. The second guy James describes doubts God. He is foolish and his life ends up being blown around like the waves, going here and there but neverContinue Reading

Summaries of the New Testament Books

To follow up on this post summarizing the books of the Old Testament, here is the list for the New Testament. Here is this list in pdf. These are just quick helps to help people get a feel for these books and see how they connect with each other. Bible Study Helps – New TestamentContinue Reading

Books of the Bible and Application to 20 Somethings

In teaching 20s & 30s on a regular basis I am finding the need to be relevant more and more important. It is not that relevance didn’t used to be important. It just seems theology disconnected from real life application tends to fall on deaf ears a lot quicker in young adults than in myContinue Reading

“Falling into Sin” – A Phrase We Need to Drop

I hear it all the time. It sounds so passive. I did it again…I fell into sin. It’s like a “woops” or an “uh oh.” I was walking along just doing the best I could and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back looking up at the sky…I slipped. I fellContinue Reading

James Study Guide in pdf

For any who are interested or who would like some Bible material to work through on a daily basis here is a quick and easy study on James. It is one page per day for 15 days to make for a quick and easy study that gets at the heart of what James is talkingContinue Reading

A Bible Study Most People Can Stick With

We talk a lot about studying the Bible but how frequently do we give people accessible options to make it a habit? There are 80 posts on this blog that deal with studying the Bible in some way, shape or form. We have classes on all the proper “how to’s”…how to read a psalm orContinue Reading

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