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Daily Reading: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26 ESV, James 4:1-17 ESV, Psalm 118:19-29 ESV, Proverbs 28:3-5 ESV

Daily Verse: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1 ESV)

HEDONE (2237): “Pleasure” is used of the gratification of the natural desire or sinful desires and is translated as “lusts” Jas 4:1.”[1]

Translated as “lusts.”

Passions mean lustful desires in today’s passage.  Fleshly wants we think we need.  Battling the desires within us versus those of God remains the eternal struggle we all face.

Guilty pleasures seem the hardest to battle.  Schadenfreude means pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune.  When someone hurts us, our human desires may hope for some form of schadenfreude to befall the offender.

But we know Jesus calls us to pray blessings into their lives.  Our hurt hearts struggle to pray for them, much less ask God to bless them.  And so, the battle rages onward.  Not until we reach heaven will the war end.

Request help.

Ask God to help you with the battle.  Whatever fleshly desire you face, whether schadenfreude or something else, look to the Creator for assistance.  Don’t try to wage war on your own; victory only comes with Jesus.

Accepting our internal battle and admitting our war with the flesh helps us find victory.  Confessing to God and receiving His unconditional love helps us share our struggles with others.  By allowing friends to come alongside us in the battle, we find the strength to overcome.

Battling laziness, I need help winning the battle of regular exercise.  After confessing my lethargy to God for not taking care of His temple, I shared my struggle with a few close friends.  Different ones hold me accountable for certain exercise practices.  With my community, I gain victory over my laziness.

Instead of criticizing yourself for having fleshly desires, accept them as part of life.  Talk to God about the battle and embrace His forgiveness.  Then share your struggles with trusted friends and ask them to help you win the war.  In Christ, you can do all things.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 111) Thomas Nelson

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