Wait on The LORD. A thousand years is as a day; God’s time is perfect, Amen.

Not receiving? Pray. Still not receiving? Are you asking ‘right‘? When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

This is a very popular scripture to quote—especially when you are praying and believing God for something in your life. Jesus instructs us to ‘ask’ in many places in Scripture, so it makes sense that if you don’t have something, it could be because you didn’t ask for it.

Referring to James 4:2 “You have not because you ask not.” Does this mean that God will give me whatever I ask for?   Is that what James really means here…or is there more to the story? Well, there is; and that’s what we’re going to look into. Let’s take a closer look at motives as we explore the scriptural idea that you “have not” because you “ask not.”

Take a moment to read this whole thought in James, and as you’re reading ask yourself: who is James talking to?

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:1-3

Is James really talking to Christians here? I know it’s hard to believe, because he mentions words like fights, quarrels, kill, and covet. Yet he is talking to Christians. More importantly, he is giving us a great reminder of the proper attitude you need to have when you come to prayer. It’s like James is giving you a litmus test to bring with you when you go to pray.

Why Are You Asking? A Look at Motives

Looking closely at having not because of asking not reveals that the problem is not really in the asking. The problem is in the reason why you are asking.

James identifies some of these wrong motives, but the ultimate desire that drives all the others is the burning desire to get something you do not have. This is known as coveting. To covet is to be jealous of something that someone else has, or to possess a strong eagerness to get something that does not belong to you.

How do you know if you are experiencing this emotion? One way is to think about how you feel when you see others around you being blessed and it seems like God is passing you by. Do you rejoice in the blessing of others or do you despise them? When someone shares about how God has blessed them, do you feel the need to try to trump their blessing with one of your own?

When someone gets a new job, promotion, new house, new car, or any myriad of material blessings…do you find yourself being excited for them, or envious of them instead? If you do, then be careful; because the “covet monster” could be stirring inside you. So the next time someone shares what God is doing in their lives, rejoice with them! The Bible says we should rejoice with those who rejoice. (Rom. 12:15)

Published by Fellowship of Praise: ALL praise to God our Reason, Hallelujah!!!

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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