Submit Yourselves to God – James – 4 :1-12
4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people,[a] 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. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[c]
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 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.
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
In our modern culture praying for our needs has lost it’s sensitivity or taken as foolishness or weakness in our ability or some call it as sign of laziness. Gospel values are not worldly values so there is a conflict between Worldly values and Gospel values. The modern world relies upon the self ability , skill and the vicious culture of the World for a better life or happiness. Can the modern life or modern culture or higher education or migration to the developed countries give us happiness . Thomas Kempis in the book of Imitation of Christ says “if we run from one cross to the other , we reach to the much heavier one . If we accept the cross unwillingly , it becomes heavier than it is but if we willing embrace it , it becomes light and gives us peace and happiness.
Many of the Crosses are self made and others have put on our shoulders. Many of the Crosses have been product of the Evil of the World. When we live in the culture of our flesh , World and Evil, we struggle in our life with the burden of these crosses and try to run away from the burdens of these burdens. In the midst of our struggles Jesus gives us solution to our Burdens . He says come to me all you heavily burdened and take my yoke because my yoke is light . This teaching is something new , we need not run from our crosses or burdens but instead give our burdens to Jesus and take his yoke of Gospel truth and follow him.
In the letter of James , St. James says :” you do not get because we do not ask” . The Word of God says ask and you will receive, we under estimate God and do not ask and rely in our own ability and land up what the World , Flesh and Devil has to offer us. We may feel temporary relief on these solutions but fall in to greater trap of losing our own soul. Sometimes we pray but we do not get . St. James says we do not pray according to the will of God or according to the desire of the Holy Spirit. The desire of the Holy spirit is to give us good things which build us in love and charity. If we ask anything which harms our soul or takes us away from the spirit of truth and loose Salvation, then the Lord does not fulfill our desires. So before making a prayer we must do a study , if my prayer is against the will of God or harm my or my neighbors soul , then we must do the correction in our request and enter in to the desires of the Holy spirit . when our desires match with the desire of the holy Spirit , a miracle takes place in our life, our desires and Holy spirit’s desires are granted to us.
Prayer is not merely a lips service or whatever comes in to our mind or whatever we feel we want we ask God in Prayer but a well thought and prepared petition after consulting the advocate the Holy spirit whether it is according to the Will of God. When we make prayer not according to the Will of God , we become adulterers because we pray to God for the desires of our flesh, World and Devil. We split our heart between God and Evil.
A prayer is not a judgement but a petition specially when we pray for others. We can not sit on the Judge’s seat and pass judgement on others. This applies specially when we quote Scriptures when we pray. The scriptures are the pointers or the signs which point us , how to pray . The petition is not a demand or a claim but a request so we must submit ourselves completely in to the Lordship of our Lord and accept of our unworthiness before his Majesty. By Law we are slaves of Evil and we are pleading for his mercy to the mercy Seat and the judgement belongs him alone. when we humble in this attitude , the Lord will lift us up in Holiness and Truth. When we cultivate this attitude he appoints us as Intercessors to him at the right hand of the Father.