My Will Be Done
Lord Jesus, Your life revealed what life could be. Thank You that life can be a reality for me.
Read James 4:1-6
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.
The first step towards being made holy is being honest and humbling ourselves before God. James makes that point very clear.
When things go wrong we are quick to blame somebody else! In church life, as elsewhere, we often pass the blame upwards: “It’s the fault of the pastor/presbytery/bishop.” Things are certainly going wrong when there are “fights and quarrels” (1) in church, and this time it is individual believers who are at fault. James highlights that spoiled-child reaction, which lingers even in adult Christians, to not getting what we want. It leads to his devastating words that expose my prayer life.
“You do not have because you do not ask God” (2). A Christian who does not pray? We will almost certainly pay lip service to the value of prayer but James is looking deeper than lip service. He is exposing an instinctive response–or lack of it–to needs and desires as they surface. It is a response which, long before it takes them to the Lord, will determinedly wrestle with them in our own strength first.
“You ask with wrong motives” (3). “But I did pray,” the lady talking to me insisted, still frustrated at the seeming lack of response from God to her very real needs as she perceived them. She imagined, as many of us do, that all prayer is good and any prayer effective. James says we can pray but pray wrongly! We can call out “Lord” and still be saying “my will be done” (Matt. 7:21-23)!
This seeking of our own interests may make us friends with the world (4), which is living “my will be done,” but it is a denial of all it means to be Christian; it makes us two-timing people, “adulterous” and “enemies of God” (4) even while we are on our knees. Worst of all (6), it means that God himself opposes us.
Would you put yourself among the “willful proud” or the “willing humble” (6)? How can you cultivate your friendship with God (4)?
Holy Spirit of God, breathe into me so my thoughts are Your thoughts. Reform my prayers so they are Your prayers. Make my desires Your desires.
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