Tohono O’Odham – Day 4

James 4:5

Today (Wednesday) was the fourth day on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation in southern Arizona with our youth group. Our days have now settled into a schedule, though admittedly a schedule with great variations. We get up early for a quiet time of Bible study and prayer, clean up, eat, and head out to the various villages by about 8:00. The Bible camp runs from about 9:00 to 11:00, then back to our lodging facility for lunch and off to a different village for a sports camp from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. Our evenings are filled with worship and lots of mutual encouragement.

With some of the uncertainties removed, the ministry is allowed to become much more relational. At night we talk (at length) about our day and I’m amazed by how many of our youth are able to name the kids they have been working with, tell specific things about their family, and know how to pray for them. They are excited to return tomorrow and continue their ministry.

In yesterday’s message I considered the importance of humility and how the best path toward being humble is to come into the presence of God. But I intentionally skipped over an important point in the main verse.

James 4:5
“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely?”

Remember that this passage is in the middle of a section on the need for humility and how God opposes the proud, and even how our pride is caused by worldly desires and wrong motives – by envy. Yet, at the same time, this passage says that one of the very things in our spirit which causes us to be prideful is given to us by God. How can this be? More importantly, why might this be?

This entire passage was significant to me because I’m often frustrated by the flaws in my character. It seems like I have the same struggles over and over again. I often say things I regret, or with a tone I regret, and have thoughts which are not pleasing to God. Why is it so difficult to live pure? And then I come to this verse which seems to say that the spirit which God caused to live within me contains flaws, which means these flaws are intentional. So is it possible that we are given a flawed spirit by God; and if so, why?

I believe the why may be answered in the next verse. Our spirit He gave us is flawed, “but He gives us more grace” (James 4:6). The recognition of our flaws brings us to God for more of His grace. Does anyone else see the beauty in this? God is drawing us to Himself though all things, even through our flaws. When we are proud and fail to recognize our flaws we are opposed by God; but when we will admit our flaws, which requires great humility, and draw near to the presence of God, He will give us more of His grace to live a life which brings Him glory.

Thank you God for loving me enough to draw me to Your side, even through my many flaws. This is my report from the nation of Tohono O’Odham – Day 4.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

2 responses to “Tohono O’Odham – Day 4”

  1. Anonymous

    >Thank you! Thank you for your loving commitment and devotion to the spread of the gospel in a very real and "practical" way. I have so enjoyed your daily updates (and as always, your daily W.O.G)about your mission trip. God's grace has truly blessed you and your group and all of us following your updates, but more importantly, those at the reservation who might never have had such a special blessing as what the youth group has shared. My thoughts and prayers reach out to all of you as you complete your journey.
    May the Love and Peace of Christ Jesus be with you now and always. Have a safe trip home. JL.

  2. Anonymous

    >This was a wonderful blessing. I have enjoyed and been convicted by your posts from this trip. May the Lord continue to use you and the youth in this way.

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