Are we that selfish?
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
Is it true? Do we sometimes ask things from God for the wrong reason? However, when you think about it, often the only time we really pray to God is during crisis. We ask God to provide, basically to make our life easier. James here just tells it exactly how he sees it. James implies that wrong motives do not work with God. God only desires that your motives are not selfish or craving after something God gives your neighbors. Knowing that God knows your motives, it should be enough for us to keep our cravings in check. However, it does not and the cycle continues.
James again here is just straight out. Be honest with yourself and see that wrong motives do make a difference. I look back on my life and see that I also am not immune to this. I am not going to lie, I prayed, sometimes all night, and at the end of the prayer session I realize that it was a prayer with the wrong motivation. The prayer was full of selfish ambition, pride, and the fear of not “keeping up with the Jones’”. Now, I know that this shouldn’t be the case. But I am human. I desire things. But the things are not sinful; it’s the cravings for the things is what is bad. Basically you desire thing so much that you are willing to use God as a genie in a bottle. I bet God hates when I do that. He’s not a genie, he is God, and He deserves more honor and praise.
Lord I know you like to provide, help me to hare the right heart.