Many of the things we want are things we don’t need. The devil who is in control of this world (1 John 5:19) has so manipulated us we are in constant search of “things” to make our life complete. It may be nicer clothes, or the newest electronics, maybe a better car, or perhaps even a larger house. There’s always something more out there that we must have. This incessant search for more is also a source of tension in relationships. When we don’t get what we want, we often blame someone close to us for getting in the way.
“You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” James 4:2 (NIV)
Even if you’ve prayed for your heart’s desire, it’s not likely God will respond favorably if that thing you’re hoping for is, in His view, useless. God wants you to go to Him and seek His help filling your life with everything you need to find peace. If you have not made your request known to God, you are making a mistake. But you may also be making a mistake if you approach God with the wrong motives.
“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 (NIV)
If you believe a grand piano will bring you peace, and make your request known to God, He may ignore your prayer because He knows peace doesn’t come from grand pianos. If you pray for a promotion so that you can finally get the car that will bring you joy, God may ignore your prayer because He knows joy doesn’t come from cars. The notion that worldly “things” brings peace and joy is a lie form the pit of hell. If you believe there is any number of “things” that can bring you peace and joy, you have given yourself over to this world.
“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4 (NIV)
The hard work it takes to earn the money to acquire the “things” of this world tends to make us proud when we accumulate much of what’s on our list. We can get a false sense of security when we amass a large collection of those most coveted “things.” God wants you to know that true peace and joy can be found when we have nothing.
Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 (NIV)
When you turn off this world, and the silly notion that material objects will bring peace and joy, you will be able to open your heart and mind to the clear teaching in the Word of God. The Bible is the best place to move closer to God. As you study, you will realize peace and joy are byproducts of service to God, and you will learn that you serve God by serving others. When you turn your back on the devil and move closer to God, that is when you will discover true peace and joy.
“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 (NIV)
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