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What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1

Read: James 4:1
Listen: James 4


When James writes about the desires that battle within, he is referring to bad desires. He points to things which go against God and his way. Even though his readers are Christians, they still battle these desires in their hearts. However, believers in Jesus don’t have to battle alone. The Holy Spirit encourages, empowers and equips followers of Jesus as they seek to follow God.

Because we’re all born with a sin nature, there is a battle in our hearts too. Our sin causes us to be selfish and want to do the wrong things. But the Holy Spirit lives in us, calling us to the right things. It might be a bad relationship we want to pursue, hurtful words we want to say or a harmful decision we want to make. Yet, there is a battle because we hear the Holy Spirit inside of us, convicting us and pointing us to the right decisions. May we listen to the Holy Spirit within us today.

TODAY: Consider where you find yourself regularly facing a battle inside. Things you shouldn’t be pursuing and feel the Holy Spirit challenging you to stop doing. Bring each of those things to God in prayer and invite God to empower you to follow him.


Read Genesis 28-30. Highlight anything that points to Jesus. Note the promise now given to Jacob. Consider how the stairway points to Jesus and note any cross-references.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.