In James, we read about wrong motives. Sometimes we ask for things but our motives are wrong. We want something for the wrong reason, and because God is gracious, we don’t get what we want. What a blessing!
Consider what you request. What are your motives? Are you seeking something that will allow you to press forward with God in your journey? Or are you seeking something for pleasure? Do you want something that will benefit you with temporary pleasure or do you seek something that will bless many for eternity? Is what you are asking for something that will bring you closer to God or pull you away from God?
It’s okay to request things from God. He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to make the desires of our heart known. But the desires of our heart should first be Him. And the requests we make should reveal this desire we have for God Almighty. If they don’t – if our motives are wrong – God can see our heart. Isn’t it awesome that despite us not placing Him first in our lives, He still withholds something that is not good for us, because He does not want to withhold goodness in our lives?!?
“And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.” – James 4:3 [NLT]
One minute we seem to be all about Jesus, and the next minute we have changed our focus. Sometimes this means that we are not deeply rooted, or not rooted at all. When things are going well or when God is at the forefront of our lives, we are all about worshiping God and serving His people. We are attending church on Sunday and perhaps even interacting with a Bible study group. But then something happens. Boom. Something shakes our world and oh how quickly we do an about face. We change direction. It’s as if we are a different person. What happened to the way we were living? What happened to our focus on God?
It is important for us be deeply rooted in Christ, to have a strong foundation that will stay standing despite any circumstances that will come our way. Yes, we will falter from time to time; however, we should not sway every time to wind blows. Focus on your roots. Study the Word. Hear the Word. Spend time with fellow believers. Pray daily. Do whatever you can to be closer to God. Allow your eyes to be fixed on God. Understand that the moment will come when your world will be shaken. Hold on tight and keep pressing forward.
“At the end of the forty days and nights, the LORD handed me the two stone tablets inscribed with the words of the covenant. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Get up! Go down immediately, for the people you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted gold and made an idol for themselves!’” – Deuteronomy 9:11-12 [NLT]