By Andrea Merrell
You don’t get it because your motives are all wrong.
James 4:3 NLT
The man was angry with God because he didn’t get the promotion, new house, and fancy new car he wanted—and felt he deserved. He was part of the name-it-and-claim-it crowd. The bless-me-my-four-and-no-more group.
These misguided folks believed they could have absolutely whatever they wanted. After all, the Bible tells us we can pray for anything, and if we believe, it will be ours, right? So why don't we get everything we ask for?
Fortunately, James gives us the answer: “Even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what gives you pleasure.”
When we pray with selfish motives, our prayers are hindered. God wants to bless us and give us the desires of our heart, but our desires must line up with His will. He blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. We can see this all throughout the Scriptures. We need to become less self-focused and more others-focused. Bob Gass says:
God knows what you want, and He knows why you want it. Is it only for your own comfort and convenience or also to fulfill His purposes? When you look out only for your own interests, only one person is working on your behalf—you! But when your goal is to bless others, God goes to work and answers your prayers in ways you never imagined possible.”
God told Abraham, “I will bless you … and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2 NIV). That same promise applies to all the seed of Abraham. God gives to us so we can give to others.
Be generous. Give with a cheerful heart, and watch what God will do in your life.