WARS IN OUR MEMBERS
"From where comes wars and fightings among you? Come they not from here, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1).
Coming from the world of sin and death with stains and blemishes of the flesh all over us, at the fountain opened for the dynasty of David for sin and for uncleanness we are washed and made thoroughly clean (Zacchariah 13:1). We become God’s peculiar people, a holy nation, created in Him unto every good work, shining as light in the midst of crooked and perverse generation. Our members are made members of Christ, for as He is, so are we in the world.
The Lord has decreed a separation between the world of sin and His own blood bought and washed people. But we remain in the midst of the same for the testimony of the truth. Because of the new nature in us, we keep ourselves so that the wicked one does not touch us. We are assured of all we will ever need to stay clean of all defilements this world has to offer us. Our Father God assures us that He will never leave us, even when the battle is fierce; He will always stay at just a call away.
More than often we do encounter strangers in our members. From every opening per chance, they troop down into the heart. There the wars begin! These strangers are citizens of the country of sin called world from where we were called out. The Lord even tells us their tribal names; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-16). They come adorned with the stupendous glory of this world which leaves our mouth ajar as we behold. Before we know what is going on, we are already romancing with them in the bed of desire. How saints turn adulterers and adulteresses in just a moment! How friends of the Father turn His enemies within the twinkling of an eye! (James 4:4)
Fiercer and fiercer the wars grow day by day. Stronger and stronger our passion for having our desires grows. Desire for His will to be done wanes with time, for all our devotion is to the will of the flesh. Vices begin to consume virtues. Godliness gives way to making gains; anxiety strangulates longsuffering, endurance and perseverance with a sword of death in the eye; fear swallows faith alive; love falls victim to hatred; pride devours humility; division slays unity and oneness which are witnesses of our abiding in Him; selfishness hauls a big stone at concern for the brethren; truth suffers a great loss from the concerted efforts of heresies and lies…. Our hearts become nothing but graveyard for virtues. We become nothing but murderers! ‘You desire and do not have; so you kill’ (James 4:2).
Then we approach the throne of our holy God with a heart impregnated by lust. We come before God in prayer, spreading forth hands stained with the blood of the righteous (virtues!). We do sound nicely in our lofty asking that flows from streams of desire. Then we ask and do not receive because we ask amiss (wrongly) to spend it on our lust. We call it a 'positive mentality'; 'thinking big', but God calls it 'iniquity'. We wait (many who are sincerely coaxed into this way at times patiently) and no result in view. We could not understand 'the why' of any justifiable reason God should not rend the heavens and descend speedily with answers to our prayers. But to God, asking amiss means not asking at all; for it is given to those who ask.
Prophet Habakkuk tells us God’s eye is so holy that He could not behold iniquity. Iniquity hides away from the presence of the holy God. The wars which begin amidst our members turn to that between human and divine. But the all loving father does not leave us without an option; to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the living God.
In the place of humility, as we turn back to take Him at His word, He will come to us with the revelation of our own way which is as far away from His as heaven is from the earth. As we approach Him with a repentant heart, with the power by which He gives life to the dead and calls the things which are not as if they are, He will call those we have lost to the wars of lusts out of the grave (Romans 4:17). The Spirit of Him who raised up Christ from the dead will raise them up by the same power (Romans 8:11) and brood over us until Christ is formed in us again (Galatians 4:19). Then we receive power to mortify (put to death) our members which are on earth (Colossians 3:5).
As we return to Him, He washes us with the washing of regeneration by the Spirit (Titus3:5) and the washing of thewater by the Word (Ephesians 5:26) as we marry our wholelife to the same. There we are strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man(Ephesians 3:16) to obey the living God. In the place of obedience a new man is made after the image of His father. There we are granted power to walk in victory and become overcomers as He was down here, till the time war will be no more.