Thursday, May 03, 2007

James 4:1-3 --- What's Your Motivation?

Scripture:
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Insight:
Why do we quarrel? Why do we fight? SELFISHNESS! We get into fights because of pleasures we desire for ourselves. We fight because we are not getting what we are coveting (wanting). An important self-examining question for Christians in conflict is "What personal desire am I trying to protect or to gain?” More than likely the quarrel is centered on a personal desire – not a pure Godly desire. Isn’t it interesting that, even when we win the battle, the pleasure of winning and getting our way is only momentary. It does not resolve the deep inner conflict of selfish desires that is battling within us. It reminds me of the title to the U2 song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

So, our fighting and quarrels among each other reveal a wrong relationship with God. A relationship that is driven by selfishness and not driven by a humble heart for God. This wrong relationship is made evident in our prayer lives. We either do not have the faith to pray for God to supply our needs. Or more than likely, we pray with the wrong motives for things that are not pure and Godly, but rather are simply for our own pleasure.

How then, do we know what we should pray for? By knowing God’s will. By having a heart and a mind that desires God and the things that God desires. How can we know God’s will and his desires? Read his Word – the Holy Bible. This is where we will find what God is truly looking for and thus what we are truly looking for.

Prayer:
Lord, change my heart and make your desires my desires. Put to death this flesh that is covetous and filled with wrong motives. I want to ask with a pure heart. I want to always pray with pure motives that are grounded in your truth. Continue to display your will to me in your Word. Continue this transformation and kill the selfishness within me.

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