“And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” James 4:3-4 (New Living Translation).
God does not sponsor the selfish pursuits of self-indulgent pleasures. Like any good parent, our Heavenly Father wants to see us mature beyond carnal, selfish living to the selfless life of service He has called us. While He does not deny us our basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing, He does not want us to be involved in trivial pursuits.
The things of this world should become less and less important, and the quest of the Kingdom should become our own. The search for the Kingdom is to bring glory to the King by loving Him and loving people. It is not about loving our pleasure, but rather to serve our neighbors in the name of the Lord by sharing His Good News and eternal love.
Consider your recent conversations with the Lord and determine if your desires were more focused on your wants and pleasures than on your actual needs as a child in God’s Kingdom. Again, there are wants, and there are needs, and the mature believer can discern the difference.
God loves us, and He does not mind providing the occasional treat. Our prayers should flow from a pure motivation to be about our Heavenly Father’s business here on earth. We are on the earth, but we are not of this earth, and earthly pleasures should not dominate our conversations with the Lord.
- Consider your recent prayer requests.
- How many of them could be selfish requests to indulge in earthly pleasures and how many truly reflect the Kingdom priorities you learn about in Scripture?
- Let’s recalibrate our motivations in prayer to more accurately reflect what God would consider mature and pleasing in His sight.
Excerpted from Go Vertical by Iann Schonken: