James 4:1-3 (Lent Readings)
KJV Below (link to NIV)
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
The problems that the church to which James is writing are having have a common cause: they are selfishly thinking about themselves and what they can get. There is a progression given. They fight because they want what each other has, this fighting is because they don’t ask, and they ask without receiving because they are only asking for selfish reasons. It’s unclear whether it their asking from each other or from God that is not answered, and in a way it doesn’t matter. Selfishness is at odds with the Kingdom of God and will not be honored.
Have you ever been disappointed in the outcome of something? Was it because your expectations were centered on you or on God’s Kingdom? If we change our focus off of us and those with whom we have a vested interest (our family and closest friends) and instead focus on God’s Kingdom, will we really ever fail to see that Kingdom advance when we ask?