Wednesday, 12 October 2016



“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3 KJV

We have spent the last six capsules discussing: Answers to some nagging questions that would crop up because of the promise in Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:8-9. This promise is not limited to these two passages, in fact this is the norm throughout the scriptures, more so in the New Covenant. Despite this, virtually everybody I know (including yours truly) have experiences that on occasions run counter to what is promised. We know the word of God is true and has the power to deliver exactly what it says, so the question arises 'Why am I not getting the desired result as promised?'. We cannot wish this away and if not attended to, it could lead to frustration or worse still some lose faith and start "looking somewhere else" for succour. So far, we considered 'Making the main thing, the main thing', 'Don't ask for things outside the New Covenant provisions' and lastly, 'The perfect work of patience'. I hope most of the things discussed are now obvious and usable, we must never complicate what God has made simple (2 Corinthians 11:3)

In the beginning of this series, I pointed out the uniqueness of the Epistle general of James. The fourth reason that answers the nagging question is found in Chapter 4:3 which says, if you are asking with the sole purpose of satisfying your lust, then you are missing the point and will not receive or if you ask motivated by lust, you will not receive, simple! (my paraphrase).

Before we continue, I would like to point out that this letter was written to born again Christians, not unbelievers. If LUST as a motive invalidates your asking it makes sense to take a closer look. The Greek word translated as lust or pleasures here is the word 'hedone', it appears only five times in the New Testament, it is from the same word we get hedonism. Again, can I remind you that this admonition was written to Christians! As it was then so it is now.

“You ask [God for something] and do not receive it, because you ask with wrong motives [out of selfishness or with an unrighteous agenda], so that [when you get what you want] you may spend it on your [hedonistic] desires.” James 4:3 AMP

Let's consider why this is a hindrance to Asking and Receiving. Lust here, means you consider self gratification as the superior goal, over and above all. It is more than just simple pleasure, it has become what you live for. This is the definition of carnality, meaning you are devoid of inputs from your born again spirit, you are not getting any guidance from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). The implication of this is that you are operating under the same influence as people without God. This sounds so strong but it has subtly taken hold and put down root in churches. I can give different examples, but for confidentiality, I wouldn't. Because something appears good does not make it godly for you. We all to different degrees, don't make this mistake, the key is 'check what is the drive before you ask.' The bottom line is John 4:24, 'God is a Spirit, those that worship Him, MUST worship Him in spirit and truth' .

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8 KJV

James 4:1-2, gives the background to the conclusion why LUST as motive will hinder your receiving, it is self explanatory. If Hebrews 11:6 is the thesis for pleasing God, then Romans 8:7-8 is the perfect antithesis. If your asking does not lead to receiving, this is one area to consider. There is much more to say but let us close with these two thoughts.

Always check whether there is a witness in your spirit that this is the right thing for you (nobody can really teach you how to do this, you just have to learn to trust God) Romans 8:16, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalms 37:4.

Secondly, let the peace of God be the umpire that rules your heart in this process. If your heart is disturbed, and you seem to lose your peace over the matter, it's a cautionary sign (Isaiah 32:17, Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:6-7). With all these being said, the only way it works is if you make the main thing, the main thing.



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'Femi Idowu