“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. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:2-3
Today’s Christian daily devotional
John and I walk briskly up the concrete stairs of the suburban banquet hall. The thought of attending his high school reunion was something that I had been dreading for the last month.
It was hard to forget the chilly reception I received ten years before at my husband’s last one. His high school buddies seemed to have an issue with the fact that John married a girl twelve years his junior. The women weren’t too shy with the eye daggers or rude comments.
Without uttering a word, John knew that this night wasn’t my idea of a good time. But, being married means that life becomes a team effort. Caressing my lower back, he swung the door open for me.
“We won’t stay long.” John whispered sweetly in my ear while pulling off my overcoat.
I silently thanked God that this torturous occasion only came once a decade.
“John Turk! What’s up, you old dog? It’s…Sanchez!” A half-balding burly man slapped John on the back.
“So, who’s this lovely lady?” The man turned to me, reaching for a hug.
My arms automatically tucked stiffly to my sides, I hunkered down; dreading the inevitable. I didn’t really see a comfortable escape out of it.
“She’s my wife. The one you met ten years ago.” John stepped in between, saving the day.
“Oh wow. So you two are still married?” Sanchez’s squinty eyes bug out in amazement. He is speechless. Although I don’t personally know the man, just by our one- minute interaction; it’s plain to see that silence for Sanchez was a rare thing.
A few more people swoop into our little circle and the awkward conversation is diffused…momentarily.
Over the course of the night, the subject of divorce resurfaces several times. I now see why Sanchez was so amazed.
“You both look really happy. Is that for real?” A glassy eyed woman seated next to me asks while the wine is being passed.
“Our marriage is not perfect, that’s for sure. But, we genuinely enjoy each other.” I push the cream-soaked chicken around on my plate.
“What’s your secret? I want a happy marriage.” She moves closer, her glazed eyes unblinking.
“It wasn’t always this way. But, John and I really saw changes when we started reading the Bible together.” The woman sharply craned back her neck as if I had suddenly pulled out a shot gun.
“Oh. That’s definitely not something I wanted to hear.” Taking a generous swig from her glass she plunks it down, empty.
“I’m getting another. Do you want anything from the bar?” Barely waiting for my answer, she turns on her sparkly heel.
James 4:2-3 shows us that many issues people face today were also common in Biblical times.
The biggest problem with humanity’s way of dealing with issues is that most aren’t really seeking the proper source for help or searching in the proper manner to begin with!
How frustrating is it when a friend continually asks for advice and when you tell them something they don’t want to hear, they quickly move on and ask another?
At some point, eventually, someone tells that person the answer that they’ve already set their minds to believe in the first place.
Consequently, their lives never change.
Sadly, they were never actually searching for the truth. Those people were simply searching for the answer that would justify their current actions.
I challenge you to read James 4:2-3 over again. How do you ask for help? Who’s advice are you seeking? Are you listening to wise counsel, or are you throwing out the good stuff because it’s hard to hear?
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I must be honest with you, because you see my heart anyway. No matter how much I’d like to hide from you, you know it all.
Lord, my life is a mess. I see that I am partly to blame for this. I have surrounded myself with people who have been subtle ‘enablers’.
The people that have told me what I have wanted to hear, I’ve kept in my inner circle. And, those who were brave enough to tell me what I needed to hear, I have foolishly shut out.
My actions have hurt others but mostly they have hurt me. A person who surrounds himself with wisdom will only move higher. One who keeps the company of fools will eventually become one.
Lord, I am that fool! I have deceived myself into thinking that the afflictions I am suffering from were the faults of another. But, if I would have heeded the wisdom given to me, I wouldn’t be in the state I am in today.
I take full responsibility for my loopy way of thinking.
Lord, forgive me. Bless the wise friends I have hurt. Bless me as I search for people who will nurture my growth in you.
Help me to kindly reduce the time I spend with people who don’t have godly intentions or godly lives that I can model myself after.
I want to grow and that means there must be some changes. Help me. I know that this will be a period of pain and loss. I choose to rely on you to meet all of my needs, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: James 4:2-3
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan