Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Adulterers and Adulteresses

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.  Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?” – James 4:1-5

The words “adulterers and adulteresses” within this passage sometimes take our carnal minds to the wrong understanding.  James is not talking about sexual immorality here.  He’s talking about our relationship with God.  It is a metaphor.  By using these words he’s pointing to the ideal that the Jews had of being married to God, as the “husband of the vineyard”, their overseer.  James is speaking of having our hearts focused on the things of the world rather than the things of God. 

We often pray, and see no results because we pray for worldly things.  It’s not wrong to pray for things like a new job, a car, a house, and so forth.  But when we pray for them so that we may show it off to our friends, or the better job so that we can “spend it on our pleasures”, God realizes we are no longer concerned with His Kingdom.  What is your ulterior motive in asking?  Sometimes our prayers are focused on being heard.  We get prideful in our words, and the thought that we can somehow pull God’s strings, so to speak, through our words.  We let the ideal that we can call upon the power of God, as if it was our own, swell our pride.    

When we do, we are asking out of our own lustful, prideful, and covetous hearts.  God will not promote our covetousness and pride by granting prayers to fulfill those desires.  Coveting is sin and so is prde, and God will not be part of it.  We do not have because we ask “amiss”, which means out of our own wicked desires and wants, without His divine direction.  But when we align our prayers with the things of God, we will experience successful prayer lives. 

Friendship with the world is like an affair we have, going away from the relationship we have with our God for that season of frolic and self-gratification.  As with any affair, both sides experience the hurt.  We become defeated and discouraged, praying for things we don’t receive and feeling distanced from God.  And our God is a jealous God.  He longs to be first in our heart, mind and soul.  We are His beloved. 

A successful prayer life comes from a successful relationship with God.  The closer you are to Him, the less you will want to pray for the things that don’t matter, that are desired by your flesh.    As a wife desires to please her husband in all that she does, we will desire to please God.  And then when we ask, we will not ask “amiss”, and God will answer.


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