Monday, September 14, 2009

James 4:1-17 (13 Sep 09) Being Theocentric

Today's reading brings out glaringly the self-centredness of the human soul.

Every issue of our life starts from within us.
  • Coveteousness - "What causes fights and quarrels from among you? (v1) Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want." (v1,2)
  • Self-reliance - "You do not have, because you do not ask God." (v2)
  • Wrong motives - "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (v3)
  • Friendship with the world - we are called adulterous people (v4)
  • Double-mindedness (v8)
  • Boast and brag about our life (v16)
The human soul is very self-centred and selfish. We think about ourselves all the time. Two theological terms:

(a) Theo-centric - "Theo" means "God", therefore God-centred
(b) Anthropo-centric - "Anthropo" means "Human", therefore Human-centred

It is obvious here that Apostle James cautioned us against being anthropocentric, thinking of our own desires and pleasures all the time, forging a friendship with the world. He exhorts us to be theo-centric: Ask God (look to God) (v2), submit to God (v7), come near to God (v8) and if it is the Lord's will (v15).

If you are still unaware of your own anthropocentricity, ler me ask you, how often have you been to church, worship, read the Bible or pray, and find yourself really asking the question "What's in for me?" If you don't believe me on this, ask again how often have you come to a worship celebration and find yourself saying "Worship not so good today. Didn't lift my spirit up. Or saying "bad song choice" or when doing your Bible readings saying "I didn't get anything for myself today." Is worship dependent on what songs we sing, how well the musicians perform, or is it dependent on the greatness and awesomeness of God? Is the success of Bible reading dependent on getting something out for myself, or just the pleasure of discovering something about God? It is simply that He deserves my worship and adoration, even when things don't go my way according to my perspective.

That's why Apostle James said we ask with wrong motives that we may spend what we get on our own pleasures!

Let's move our thoughts more towards God rather than ourselves. This is all part of our growing up from a child to a young man and then to a father. (1 John 2:12-14). As a child we think only of ourselves. As a young man, we begin to develop a self awareness of the battle raging within and without us, as we mature through the Word of God. But the father knows the Heavenly Father's heart and will, therefore operate from revelation (our Lord Jesus lived his life by perfect divine revelation everyday) and a deep connectedness to the heart of the Father.

Let's cast aside anthropocentricity and become more and more theocentric. Let's take personal responsibity over our life to correct our path. "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." This puts us in correct perspective of the temporal nature of our life on earth. Less of being egocentric and more christocentric. I think you can figure out what these two words mean, right? :)

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