“Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye man consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3
Today’s daily devotional
“So what time are you coming over tonight? I rented a bunch of scary movies and my mom said we could order pizza!” I twirled the phone cord in the air, stopping it from tangling my hair as I lay on my bed.
“I dunno. What time is your brother getting off of work?” Jenny’s odd response took me by surprise.
“Who cares? We’ve got movies to watch and toe nails to paint.” I sat up, a bit ruffled. Since when did my brother have anything to do with my weekend agenda?
“Well, how ‘bout you call me when Dan gets home? It would be a waste to order a whole pizza just for us. I’m trying to loose a few pounds anyway.” She responded without missing a beat.
“Alright.” Now, I was really intrigued. Jennifer was never one to keep an eye on her figure; something peculiar was going on and I didn’t like it one bit.
A few hours later, my brother bursts through the door, sweaty from pushing carts and running nine blocks home from work. Dropping his limp body on the couch, he exhaled in complete exhaustion from his day. Not missing a beat, I called my girlfriend Jenny right away.
“He’s finally here. I can’t believe you made me starve for my brother.” I rolled my eyes away from the sight of him. He was becoming a new kind of irritant that was a bit foreign for me.
When Jenny arrived at my house with a full face of makeup and before the pizza delivery boy, her weirdness suddenly made perfect sense.
Brushing right past me, she headed straight to where my brother was standing in the kitchen. I witnessed her giggling at anything Daniel said while he rummaged through the refrigerator. Looking for something to eat, he was clueless to the fact that Jenny was staring at him as if he were the tastiest morsel in the room.
Oh, that was a fun night. It was fun for everybody but me. During the whole week, every time I thought back to it, my stomach clenched as if I had eaten a whole burrito. I kept myself occupied enough to avoid actually running into Jenny. But when the weekend quickly rolled around, the invisible shift in our friendship finally exposed itself.
“Whatcha doing?” This time it was Jennifer who was calling me. She wanted to solidify the tentative plans we made the last time we had seen each other.
“I’m going to help my mom organize the basement.” I decided that today was the perfect day to be a good daughter and finally make good on my month-long promise to her.
Before Jenny had the chance to ask, I answered the inevitable question looming in the air.
“My brother is working a double so he won’t be home until after eleven. I guess I’ll just see you later.” I hung up the phone, and headed down to the basement. Even cleaning the basement alone felt better than being used.
Nobody likes the feeling of being used—and God is no exception! In James 4:3 the Bible addresses the issue of correct motives. When we come to God in prayer, what is the reason behind the requests we bring to Him? Are we angling to wring out the goodness of God for our own benefit and glory?
Perhaps it would behoove us to remember that God has feelings, too. And although His love for us will never be increased or decreased, God can see through a selfish heart. Maybe the very reason our prayers don’t feel like they are working is because God is simply allowing us to serve ourselves. But, after a while that can get pretty lonely.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
How many times have I used you for what I wanted and then brushed right past you when I felt like life was good? Show me the truth, Lord. Reveal my heart to me so I can see what you see when you look at me.
I know that by asking Jesus in my heart, I have been forgiven of much. But, I never want to take advantage of that grace.
Give me a thankful heart that recognizes the source of every good blessing and enjoys giving you the glory for it all. Help me to be kind and to forgive the ones who have used and hurt me; as I know that you have been beyond merciful and forgiving to me.
I am ready to pay it forward. I want my life to be a treasure you hold dear to your heart, because I used every struggle, pain and hurt as an opportunity to show the world that God can heal. He healed me, and because of that, I am healthy and whole enough to pass my healing onto others. In Jesus’ precious name, bless me to do just that. Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s daily devotional.
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan