Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LESSON 9: Humble Or Prideful?


Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/16/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Review Lesson 8

Read James 4:1-10

1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

· Quarrels among believers are always harmful. They stem from evil desires to want more--more attention, more possessions, more position, etc. Often, when we don’t get what we want, we fight for it. Instead of fighting and quarreling, we should ask the Lord to help us get rid of our selfish desires. We must trust Him to give us what we need.

· Problems in prayer: not asking, asking for the wrong things, asking for the wrong reasons.

4 You adulterers![a] Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?[b] 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”[c]

· James quotes from Proverbs 3:34: “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” The humble know they need God, are dependent on Him for everything. God opposes the proud for just one reason: because they oppose Him.

· Are you proud or humble? This is an important question because it makes all the difference between living a life in opposition to God, and living a life basking in God’s grace. Humility’s one of those illusive traits where it’s hard to know if you have it or not.

· As soon as we think we’re humble, we get proud of how humble we are, which brings us right back to where we started, and we have to get humble again.

· Humbling ourselves is not a one-time thing. It’s a way of life. Every day we need to be on guard, watching for the warning signs that PRIDE is raising its haughty head in our lives.

· What are the signs of pride?

o Constant Conflict –How are your relationships going?(spouse, friends, church family)

o Unanswered Prayer—Is your pride in the way?

o Slandering Others—Are you constantly critiquing and judging others? Slander?

o Boasting—Bragging, assuming that our lives are under our control

o Deliberate Sin—Choosing our own course, assuming it will all work out, when we know what the Holy Spirit wants us do.

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

So if the root problem is pride-and the outcome is sin and humiliation- (the humbling process God puts us through when we refuse to humble ourselves) then the answer to the problem is willing submission. This will put us back in the place where God can work in our lives.


· If conflict in our world is a given, is there a way to “fight fairly” within a church body or other Christian relationships?

· How can we learn to fight fairly?

· How do we humble ourselves before God?

· What does James teach in these verses that would help us have a more effective prayer life?

· Why does James call his audience adulterers in verse 4? Are believers today still this way?

· How does humbling ourselves square with celebrating what Christ has done for us? What will happen if we do not humble ourselves?

Further Study

Is there a current situation in your life in which you need to humble yourself? Pray and ask the Lord to guide you in who, what, where, how and when!

Meditate/Memorize James 4:7


1 comment:

  1. This is really good, Sherry. It is a constant battle to remain humble. And like you said, when we think we are humble, then we become prideful about being humble. Oh, woe is me! :) I love studying James. It's such a rich book. Great teaching, once again. Many blessings!