3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You
adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
Imagine you are a parent. You kids love to ask you for things. In fact, they come to you over
and over again to ask you for things they want. It’s like they are little, never ending “ask”
machines as constant requests are always at on the tips of their tongues.
But as a good parent, you love to give good gifts to your children. You find great joy in
seeing their faces light up when you give them something they want. But what if what they want
is not good for them? What is they ask you for a huge bowl of ice cream for every meal? Do
you think it would be wise for you as a parent to give them what they ask for? Would it be
What they think they want and what you know is best for them are oftentimes vastly
different. It’s the same way with God. James brings that to light in our verses for today. James
tells his original readers and us today that sometimes we don’t get what we want because what
we think we want and what is best for us are very different. God knows what is best for us and if
we ask for things that are contrary to his will he loves us too much to give us those things.
He goes even further to explain that if we persist in asking for things that are “worldly”
we can make God into our enemy. Doesn’t that sound horrible? God as your enemy? But God
hates to be used by us. He wants us to come to him for life, not for things that actually bring
death. He loves us too much to enable our destruction through our “passions” that would
eventually destroy us.
Read John 15:7
• What is the condition for receiving what we ask for? (Remaining in Jesus.)
• How can Jesus’ words remain in us? What can we do to see that that happens?
• Is there anything you have been asking of God that maybe you should stop asking about?
Our Father, we want to repent of seeking to use you to get the things that we think are best for us. Help us to see you as the source of true life and not a means to getting what we want. We want to want you and your will for our lives. Help us to remember that apart from you we can do
nothing. We need your help. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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