Summary: James tells his readers how to move from "ho-hum" Christianity to supernatural living.
1. Illus. of phone call
• When my friend asked me what I was doing, I replied, “you know- just the same old same old.”
• When he asked what that meant, I said, “nothing tragic, nothing tremendous, just the same old same old!”
2. You might say, “pastor, you’ve just described my walk with God. I haven’t gone crazy and fallen into some terrible sin, but neither have I experienced any tremendous spiritual victories. It’s just been the same old mediocre same old.”
3. At least some of James’ readers could identify, because they were experiencing the same thing in their walk with God:
James’s readers were experiencing church fights caused by their innate selfishness. 4:1a
This selfishness had bled over to their prayer life, resulting in no answered prayer. 4:3
They had even gotten caught up in the sinful practices and attitudes of the lost society in which they lived. 4:4
4. Look how he begins vs 7- therefore… The word is "dio"and it means “on account of.” Problem- answer. Sickness- cure.
5. In our text James tells them, “Whenever you get tired of (a-c) here is the answer!
• Living self-centered life, want to start living a Christ-centered life
• Wallowing in the mud, and you decide you want to soar with the eagles.
• The same old same old, and you want to experience the life more abundant that Jesus promised in John 10:10.
6. It is possible for a Christian to experience supernatural, Spirit-filled, life more abundant!
7. What do we have to do to experience supernatural Christianity?
I. WE HAVE TO GIVE UP
1. See vs 7a, therefore submit to God… The word is "hupatassoIt is a military word, and it literally means “to line up under.” It was used to describe the way a private would place himself under the absolute authority of his commanding officer.
2. When James tells us to submit to God, he is telling us to place every part of our life under the absolute authority and Lordship of Jesus!
3. Illus. of F.B. Meyer
• Had a dream in which Christ wanted the keys of his life
• Gave Him most of the keys willingly, but wanted to key three or four keys for himself.
• Jesus began to fade away, saying, “if I am not Lord of all, I am not Lord at all.”
• Woke up and got on his knees, “Father, please take all the keys, and be Lord of all in my life!”
4. What are those keys that you want to keep for yourself? Is it your money? Is it your career? Is it your family life? You cannot experience supernatural Christianity until you place all the keys in the hand of Jesus!
II. WE HAVE TO STAND UP
1. See vs 7b- resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2. I don’t think it is an accident that immediately after telling us to submit to God, James tells us to resist the devil. Half-hearted Christianity is no threat to the devil, so he leaves us alone. But you let someone become totally committed to Christ, and instantly that person becomes a target for Satan!
3. When you learn to truly say yes to Jesus, you have to learn to truly say no to the devil! The problem is that we often say “no” but what we really mean is, “I don’t want to give up without a struggle, so ask me again!”
4. Illus. of Joan and chocolate cake
• We have to stay the same amount apart in weight (its apparently a state law. If she gains a pound, I have to as well).
• She will make me something warm and chocolate, wave it under my nose, and say, “do you want a piece of this?”
• I say, “no,” but what I really mean is, “twist my arm a little and ask me again!”
5. If we are going to experience supernatural Christianity, we must learn to say no and mean it!
III. WE MUST MOVE UP
1. See vs 8a, Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
2. Biblically speaking, to draw near to God is to experience intimate communion with God. The idea is that God will be as intimate with us as we desire Him to be!
3. Illus. of people around Jesus
• Great crowds attracted by desire to see a miracle. Knew Jesus hardly at all.
• The twelve that He called to be His personal students.
• Peter, James, and John who were on Mount of Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, went with Him to Gethesemane.
• One, John, who lay his head on the bosom of Jesus at Last Supper.
4. Who do you want to be like? The crowds, who merely looked at Jesus from afar? Or do you want to lay head on bosom of Jesus? Or is it somewhere in between?