Are my pleasures (lustful desires) waging war within?


We all dug into verse 1 LOOKING at James question, what is the source of  quarrels and conflicts among you?’

What did God show you about yourself?


We will uncover WHY one wars with others?

Open GODcha to the Book of James.

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O Lord, as we come to Your Word of Truth, may we come cleansed, with nothing that would hinder us from hearing You speak to us personally and individually.  Please open our understanding to live radically changed lives. Thank you!


LOOK at What God Says

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Read James 4:1-5, asking the 5W’s and H.

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Remember the Context – there is a danger when a person is ‘a friend of the world’.


Now, focus on verse 1 and concentrate.

Why do people have conflicts (wars) with one another?


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Why are we at war with one another?

v1 “. . .Is not the source of your pleasures that wage war in your members?”


Unlock the Meaning 

What words might be key

Understand God’s Words

Check Out the Meaning

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I checked out:

Pleasureshēdoneâ; from handanō (to please); sensual delight; desire:—lust, pleasure. Pleasure, gratification, enjoyment. In the NT, used only of physical pleasure (Luke 8:14; Titus 3:3; James 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:13).


Membersmélosthe members of the body as the seat of the desires and passions (Rom. 6:13, 19; 7:5, 23; 1 Cor. 6:15; Col. 3:5; James 4:1).


TIP: Remember take your definitions back to the text.

“. . .Is not the source of your pleasures (lustful desires); that wage war in your members (your body)?”


LOOK at Other Truths About

Pleasures that are the source of conflicts

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1. Do you remember:

What Jam 1:13-15 tells us that pleasures (lustslead to?

Our own lusts tempt us;

When we give in to those temptations we sin; and

Then sin leads to death.


2. Do you remember:

We also LOOKED at (1Jo 2:15-17) back in Jam 1:14 —

What are the pleasures (lusts, desires) we wage war with?

a. The Lust of the Flesh 

What are these lusts of the flesh?

What is the outcome if a person practices these things?


Do you recall (Gal 5:19)

Now the deeds of the flesh are:









outbursts of anger,







and things like these . .

those who practice such things WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God. 



Am I practicing any of these things?

Are any of these things a habit of my life?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


bThe Lust of the Eyes 

David who saw Bathsheba, lusted after her, and later committed adultery with her. (2Sa 11:2-5)



Are my eyes set on the things of this world or Jesus? 

What are my eyes looking at? 

What do I see that I have to have? 

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


c. The Pride of Life. 

Miriam and Aaron were prideful and envious of Moses. (Num 12:1-2)

James and John wanted recognition. (Mar 10:35-45)



Am I prideful?

What will I do to:

-starve my fleshly desires;

-resist the lust of my eyes and guard what I view; and

-be sensitive to when pride creeps up?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


3. Do you remember:

Seeing these 3 areas back in James 1:14

when Eve sinned in (Gen 3:6), and

when Jesus was tempted by Satan in (Mat 4:1-10)?

Eve saw the tree was:

Good for food — lust of the flesh;

A delight to the eye — lust of the eyes;

Desirable to make one wise — pride of life.


Satan tempted Jesus with:

Bread for His hunger — lust of the flesh;

All the kingdoms of the world — lust of the eyes;

A dare, to cast Himself from the roof of the Temple to prove He was the Messiah —pride of life.


We Know: Selfish desires lead to wrong actions, and we will see later even wrong prayers.

Remember the Context is ‘the world’.

Understand: everything in the world is geared toward satisfying our pleasures, our lusts, our desires.


4. What do you understand about the desire for pleasures that wage war in your (bodily) members?

aFleshly lusts wage war against the soul. (1Pe 2:11)

b. The pleasures of this life choke out the Word of God (Luk 8:11-15)

The parable of the sower and the 4 soils

Is about the Word of God falling on 4 different types of soil, representing 4 different types of hearts, 4 different types of people;

Three represent those who profess to have faith, but there is no harvest;

The last soil, is the good soil that holds fast and brings forth fruit with perseverance representing those of true genuine the faith.


Our focus is on the 3rd soil, that is full of thorns, and those who heard go their way and are choked with worries, riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 

THINK back to Chapter 2 as James warns about dead faith –  what does the evidence of no fruit reveal? 

We see: This person who hears the Word, has a momentary response, but the worries of this world, riches and pleasures of this life choke the Word of God, and the result is no fruit, thus it is a dead faith.



Do I hear the Word of God, hold fast and bear fruit with perseverance? 

Or, do I hear the Word of God for a moment, but there is no fruit?

Am I caught up in the worries and riches of this world, and my desires for pleasure? Has all this choked the Word of God out of my life?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!

c.  The ungodly and unrighteous are slaves to their desires(Rom 1:22-32)

They are without excuse, having exchanged:

The glory of the incorruptible God for the corruptible man

God gave them over to their lusts of impurity


The truth for a lie

God gave them over to degrading passions


The natural function for the unnatural function

God gave them over to a depraved mind


We see: it is NOT the godly who are consumed with pleasure,


it is the ungodly who are slaves to their desires, having a depraved mind.



Am I consumed with satisfying my uncontrollable pleasures?

Do I have a foolish darkened heart having made these 3 exchanges?

Why would I want to continue living ungodly with a depraved mind?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


5. Who is in the church that can cause conflicts?

a. False teachers causing constant friction, longing for money, wandered from the faith. (1Ti 6:3-5, 10)


b. Certain persons creep in unnoticed who turn the grace of God into licentiousness (a license to sin) and deny our only Lord and Master, Jesus (the ungodly). (Jud 1:4)


c. The enemy sows tares among the wheat. (Mat 13:24-30)



Do you see now how the conflict within the church could be happening because

there were some people in the church who had a genuine faith


there were others who had a dead faith and were operating according to the world’s wisdom?

Understand: Those who are friends with the world are controlled by all that is in and of the world.

What Did We LEARN

Sum Up It Up!


A person wars with others in the church:

Because of their desires for their pleasures that wage war in their bodily members.


The uncontrollable desire for one’s own pleasures cause:

A Conflict with others; and  

A Conflict within themselves.


There are people in the church who are slaves to their pleasures, ungodly, with a dead faith.

Creep in unnoticed turning the grace of God into a license to sin and deny (by their deeds) our Lord and Master, Jesus;

Are tares among the wheat;

Teach falsely;

Indulge the flesh;

Are ungodly;

Are without excuse;

Given over to depraved minds;

Bear no fruit to maturity; and

Will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Let’s Stop for Now,

We Will Continue Next Time!

Consider all that God is teaching us about desires being the root problem to conflicts.

Save Your Discovery

As we bring this day to a close, journal your discovery and communion with the Lord in your Notes – save them forever!

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Turn What We LEARNED into a Prayer 

Perhaps. . .

OH FATHER, THE GOD OF ALL WISDOM, we praise You for being the One and only One Who can and does give wisdom. Bless You for the knowledge and understanding that come from Your mouth! Oh Father, may we ponder the cross and all that You, Lord Jesus, have done for us so we now walk according to You, Holy Spirit, not our flesh! Reveal to us who and what we are really living for. May we be honest with ourselves as You confront us with Truth. Are we constantly waging war with our fleshly desires and pleasures, wanting our will and ways? Is this because we are living for our pleasures and lusts? Father, again I ask that You touch our hearts, so we may be convicted and confess our sins. Deliver and save those who are living for their pleasures and lusts. May they come to know Your wisdom, and be brought into Your kingdom. And for we who love You, may we be quick to recognize when those fleshly desires and pleasures are waging war within. Help us to walk by You, Holy Spirit, so we will not fulfill the desires of our flesh.  We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!


I am so proud of you, for you are doing the one thing that is necessary, learning to sit at the feet of Jesus, in His presence, listening to what He has to say to you!

Next: We will continue LOOKING at pleasures that wage war within.

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1 reply
  1. Soraya Cartwright
    Soraya Cartwright says:

    Sweet Janette,
    This was an amazing blog and very eye opening! Thank you so much for breaking it down so carefully so that I don’t miss a thing that God is telling me. God bless.

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