War Within – I

March 27, 2017

Image result for photo war withinJames 4:1-4

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

I was doing a bit of online research concerning the following question: “Have there been any times of world peace throughout history? ” It begs quite a relative answer because it is not always easy to describe just what constitutes war or peace! For instance, some scholars point to the approximate 200 years of the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), the peace fostered by the Roman Empire from roughly 27 BC to 180 AD – according to Edward Gibbons in his monumental work published in the late 1700’s: The History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire. But even then there was war when Rome invaded Britain. And boundary battles also occurred during that time with the Germanic tribes. As far as America is concerned, Wikipedia lists 100 armed conflicts in which this country has been engaged since its founding in 1776!

But war without is simply a result of War Within, and that war has been going on for thousands of years, ever since man fell into sin! You see, sin is disobedience to God’s revealed will – either by commission or omission. And the main result of sin in a human life is that one is separated from God! As it is written in Isaiah 59:2: “…your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” It is not just putting distance between us and the Lord. We are cut off from the only source of life, which is in Him! Yes, we survive physically for usually most of a century. And then we all die! But, as the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:1: “…you…were dead in trespasses and sins….Our human spirit is dead – cut off from its source of life which is only in God! That is why we need to…

•      …have our sins forgiven (see Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; I John 1:9; 2:12),

•      …be reconciled to Him (see Romans 5:10; II Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21),

•      …be cleansed of all sin’s stain (see Psalm 51:2, 7; Isaiah 1:18; Acts 22:16; I John 1:7),

•      …be born again by the Holy Spirit (see John 1:12, 13; 3:3-8; I Peter 1:23; I John 5:1).

Now, since we are originally designed to be connected with deity, we have never lost that need. As someone once said, “We will worship something! ” The problem is that, being disconnected from our Creator, the best we can naturally do is laid out in Romans 1:22, 23 and 25 (Paul is speaking about the unsaved person):

      Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the
      incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds
      and four-footed beasts and creeping things….[people] exchanged the truth
      of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the

If you analyze what the apostle is saying here, it is that the best natural man can do is to make a god in his own image, or in the image of something less in the order of creation! This means that he is either raising himself to the level of God or even higher! And this is the very sin to which Lucifer (Satan) succombed! (See Isaiah 14:12-15). And this is what the devil then fostered upon our first parents! (See Genesis 3:5). Now Paul relates such idolatry to coveting in Colossians 3:5 where he plainly says, “…covetousness…is idolatry.”

What has all this got to do with war in this old world? James has the answer in James 4:1 through 4:

      Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from
      your desire for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not
      have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet
      you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, be-
      cause you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers
      and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity
      with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes him-
      self an enemy of God.

So war boils down to one simple cause – covetousness! And covetousness springs from (is equated with) idolatry – trying to fill that God-shaped hole within us, left there because of sin!

And so the solution: get God back within us! How?

•      John 14:6 – “Jesus said…‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’

•      Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

•      I Timothy 2:5 – “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

So stop the War Within! Then you will also stop war without!

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