January 19, 2024 – Friday
James 4:2-4 NET
2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. 4 Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.
James 4:2-4 NKJV
2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and battle. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 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.
James 4:2-4 NIV
2 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. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
I ran across a youtube video today titled “The Bible Verse That Spiritually Throat-Punched Me.” I immediately became curious and watched and listened to all 12 minutes and 46 seconds of the video. Turns out in the video the verse (3 above) did not throat punch her but grabbed her spiritually and revealed a truth or truths she had been seeking. Enough of her, if you wish you may go to the link and listen for yourself. She does a good job explaining what the verses revealed to her.
Looking at verse two, it turns out it is an answer to verse one (NIV), What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James answers this directly at once in verse two, 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. Something is so very wrong with what you desire if you are willing to kill, quarrel, and fight about it. This is an out-of-control desire, way out-of-control. James then adds another point in this verse, You do not have because you do not ask God. You don’t even ask God for what you desire. God is not permitted to enter into your desires. You have kept Him out of the picture. It is no wonder your desires are out-of-control.
Still, as we read, we wonder what would happen if we did ask, would we get our desires then? Verse three tells us, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. When our desires are out-of-control seeking only our own pleasures, it is no wonder that we do not receive what we ask for. What are our motives when we ask God for what we desire? We may not even really know as Jeremiah 49:16 tells us, The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you … . And Obediah 1:3, tells us much the same, The pride of your heart has deceived you … . In addition, God knows what is best for us and when it is best for us well beyond what we think we know. He is God and we are not!
Then verse four, You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James here is speaking of spiritual adultery, choosing the values of the world over the values of following God, even betraying God. Just go back to verse two and we see desires that are not from God. One way or another, becoming sinners, rejecting what God would have us do. Instead we make idols of things in the world, breaking our relationship with God.
Bottom Line: Whatever our desires we need to examine our hearts and see if we are still doing our best to confirm our life to that of Christ. We really need to check our strongest desires to see where they are taking us spiritually.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to always remember You know best what desires we need to have fulfilled and when. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God