Being and Having
Heavenly Father, I marvel at what an awesome God You are! I humbly bow before You in praise and worship.
Read James 4:1-12
 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  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.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  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.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  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. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor? Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is a reason we don't receive what we pray for?
The community that James is addressing here is scattered, fractured and craving acceptance from this broken world. To receive this, they must buy into its values (4) which hold that personal honor comes through accumulating wealth. Some kill and some plot (2); some plead with God to give them what they want (3). Yet, they “cannot have what they want” (2), which is security, love, and a sense that all is OK. This craving creates only insecurity (1), relationship fracture (1,2) and spiritual erosion (3). When what we “have” defines who we “are,” we lose friendship with God that brings us perspective, peace and inner security (4). James says, “Resist the devil” (7). That’s difficult to do unless there is something better to take its place. God will embrace them when they turn around (8) in humility (10). They must submit to God (7), grieve over what they have become (9), and be cleansed of the world’s dirt (8). The proof of this change is no more arrogance and judging (11), just humility and submission to the one who alone has the right to judge (12).
Is your spiritual life growing or receding? Confess where you are in prayer. Make a fresh start today!
Lord Jesus, there are battles within me. Help me draw from Your strength to resist the temptations of Satan.
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