Have you ever argued with your spouse just before church? Or gossiped about a neighbor? Or been involved in a church split? Or talked about your pastor at the end of the service with the kids in the back seat? Do you just pass it off and say, “Who doesn’t? It’s no big deal.”
Are not these things based in envy, judgement, and pride. Do you think highly of yourself and that your opinions are supreme above others? Do you carry yourself with pride because of your great knowledge and understanding?
Do you not know that if you strive, judge and envy others, that you will be judged and there will be confusion and every evil work all around you? Is this what you want in a fellowship? Would you hang out with you?
The Scripture plainly tells us to esteem others better than ourselves. It tells us to judge not or we will be judged. Strife kills the joy we have in His Presence because He withdraws Himself from us when we engage in it.
Strife and judging are works of our self-will and they give the enemy access. The Bible says that when we engage in this kind of divisive activity our enemies laugh. I don’t want the devil and his minions to laugh at me, do you?
Today’s lesson is: Draw near to the Lord in all humility. Lay yourself on the altar and receive His forgiveness. He isn’t mad at you. He just can’t hang with you when you do these things. He doesn’t want you to do this because it hurts you and others. He is waiting for you. He loves you. He forgives you. He wants to manifest Himself to you.
What do you want? Do you want to be right or do you want to live righteously and take pleasure in the joy of His Presence?
This is the year of encounter with our Great God and Father. IF you draw near, He will. I promise. But if you have been doing your own thing for a long time, He may wait a bit until He knows that you are serious. Are you?
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw nearto you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. NASB
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. NASB
James 3:16 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. KJV
I Tim 6: 2b – 6 If you have leaders there who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there’s an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck. The Message
1 Cor 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
Prov 20:3 Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will [b]quarrel.
Psalms 80:6 You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves.