“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
James is now talking about wanting things. He had just stated that the desire for things is what causes a lot of fight between people. Then he states that a person does not have because he has not asked God. Then he drops the bomb on people who are asking: they ask for something for the wrong reason.
Just coming out of the Christmas season, this concept can be seen and understood very clearly. Ask any child what she would like and you will get a list a mile long of things. There are a hundred toys that she would like to have to play with.
Adults are really no different. They may not ask for all those things for Christmas, but they are fighting to get them throughout the year. Men see other men with fancy sports cars or a large pickup and they want one. Women see other women in a new designer dress or new jewelry and want it also.
The main motive behind wanting those things is to look good and use it for themselves. Even believers are often guilty of this type of desires. They pray to God for something that they will only use for themselves.
God is a God who loves to share with others. He goal is to build others up, not just be over them. When Jesus was on the earth, you did not see Him asking for much for Himself, it was always asking for others, except in the garden right before the crucifixion.
What are you doing with what God has given you? Are you just using it for yourself? Or are you using it to help others?
Do you use what you have to build God’s kingdom? Or to build your own little kingdom?
When you pray for something, it must be to use it to build God’s kingdom in some way. Check what your reason for having something is. Don’t have it just for your own pleasure, but for building God’s kingdom by helping others out.
I pray today that God will reveal to you the reasons you have for the things you have; that God will show you ways to build His kingdom with what you have; that you will change your motives to line up with God’s desires; and that God will build His kingdom through you.