You 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. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2-3
There have been times in life when I have been pretty certain that if God didn’t give me what I wanted, it would be a near death experience. Too often when I prayed, I have not been convinced of his goodness or his generosity. I regarded God as miserly and capricious. Sometimes I have avoided prayer altogether because I didn’t want to be disappointed with the outcome.
Thank God that his love and grace overcome false notions of who He is; He will not allow me to remain the victim of what I do not have. He has never been content to leave me clinging to idols and distorted images of who He is. I seek his gifts and benefits; He offers himself.
As long as I am on this side of heaven, there will be disillusionment and deferred dreams. Consider God’s exiled people. Were they wrong to long for home? I don’t believe so. But what did they want more? The homeland or the very One who called them apart to be in relationship with him?
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you see me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:11-14.
James repeats the invitation to pursue the One who loves us.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:7-8
O Lord, I confess that I have wanted so little when you have wanted to give so much. I have sought to know your benefits when you have wanted me to know and enjoy You. Thank you that you will not be hindered by my lack of vision. Your love is greater than any sense of personal entitlement. Your love continues to pursue me. Thank you for allowing me to draw close and enjoy your presence. Amen