Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book of James - Part 12: The Self-Willed

The Book of James: Part 12 - The Self-Willed
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

James 4:13-1713 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”


Who knows what tomorrow brings, or in which direction they should go?

Why do we as men think that we know what is best for us?

Like children arguing with their parents about what they want, confusing desire for need, we press our will against God’s in our lives, stumbling along the broad path all the while the Holy Spirit waits, calling from the narrow.

James warns us about the self-willed, and the dangers of bragging and prideful boasting about what we have, where we are going, and how we are going to GET more.

Not only do you not know if you even have a tomorrow, you fail to recognize that your time is short, even if you live full of days!

Are you using this time to serve God, or selfishly for yourself? Do you make plans based in His will, or what YOU desire to acquire financially in life?

James is asking the damning question we MUST ask ourselves, and ANSWER!

Are the decisions you make in this life based on God’s will (what is GOOD), or are they financially (selfishly, self-willed)?

Are you following God, or yourself in this life?

       I.            GOD’S THREE WILLS
a.      Salvation for You

b.     Direction for You
                                                             i.      Your Will vs. God’s Will

c.      Working through You
                                                             i.      Your Will vs. God’s Will

a.      You do not know if you even have a tomorrow!

b.     What IS your life?
                                                             i.      Evaluate time, and your place within it

                                                          ii.      Your life is like a vapor in the wind

                                                       iii.      What ARE you doing to serve the Lord’s will?

c.      Instead of boasting and bragging, following YOUR will, you should;
                                                             i.      Ask if it is the Lord’s will (Search, seek Him)

                                                          ii.      “as it is”, you boast and brag about your plans (your will)

                                                       iii.      All this boasting and bragging is evil!
1.      alazoneia - Greek, meaning self-confidence & pride

d.     We generally think of self-confidence as a good thing.
                                                             i.      However, self-confidence means, having confidence in ones self!

                                                          ii.      We need to know that we cannot have confidence in our selves, but rather, we need to put our confidence in GOD alone!

III.            HOW TO SIN
a.      ANYONE (saved or unsaved) who knows the good he ought to do...
                                                             i.      The good you ought to do, is God’s will

                                                          ii.      The Holy Spirit will lead you in this direction

                                                       iii.      however, YOU must chose to walk it’s narrow path

b.     ...and does NOT do it, sins
                                                             i.      Where there is no law, sin is not charged against you.

1.      Romans 5:13 “To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.”

2.      However, the Holy Spirit speaks God’s will to us, making it known.  When we know this will, the law of LOVE, and chose it not, we sin.

                                                          ii.      Where there is no obedience, there is no reward.
1.      Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

c.      How much are you missing out on in life because you failed to listen to the Holy Spirit give you what was good, and you chose NOT to follow God’s will?

                                                             i.      How much are you missing out on in this life, as well as your eternal life, because you chose;
1.      to brag and boast

2.      be self-confident and prideful

3.      follow YOUR will in life and decisions

4.      How many times did you KNOW what was good, but chose not to do it?

5.      On the other hand, perhaps, you do not even attempt to seek after the Lord to know His will.

                                                          ii.      You say you love the life you are living?
1.      John 12:25 “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

                                                       iii.      What does that mean?
1.      John 12:25 is posing a question to you love YOUR will, if so you will end up losing your eternal life over it.  However, if you hate your own will, trust in the Lord’s will, you will go from self-confident to confidence in the Lord.  THIS is putting your trust in the Lord!


James has spoken about keeping our endurance to fight a good fight and resist the temptations in life.  He has explained to us about WHAT Christian living is, and looks like.  He has told us about Brotherly Love, and how to avoid worldliness. James tells us in the previous few verses that we need to submit ourselves to God’s will, and not be self-willed.

You are saved?  Good!  Now listen to the Holy Spirit give you the will of God for direction in your life AND follow that narrow path! In doing so, as you follow God’s direction in your life, THEN He will use you to bring others into the Kingdom of God!

So many times people pray to be used, but they themselves are not obedient, and do not DO the good they know to. Your time is short, but a vapor in the wind.  Seek the Lord and He will reveal His will to you.  Obey it, and He will reward you in this life and the next.  Follow YOUR will, and you will find yourself in desperate times in this life, and if you do not change, you will find yourself lost for eternity after you die.