“You ask and you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 NIV
How many of us can relate to this situation? One day, a man was late for a job interview because he couldn’t find a place to park. As he circled the block one more time, he cried out, “Please God. This interview is so important. If you will provide a parking space, I’ll be on the front row of the church every week!” Just as he spoke those words, a space opened right in front of him. “Oh, never mind,” he said. “I found one.”
Perhaps this man exemplifies the extent of many of our prayer lives. Some may say, “But, the Lord’s Prayer tells us to pray for our daily needs!” Yet we often confuse our needs with our wants. We can get so wrapped up in praying for our wants that we begin to see God as just someone we can use to get what we want! That’s a terrible misunderstanding of God.
Is God going to give you everything you ask for? Absolutely not! Loving parents don’t give their children everything they see in a toy store, and likewise God is not some genie saying, “Your wish is my command.” James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
God wants us to seek His will so we can learn to understand our needs versus our wants. When we do, we can knock on the door of heaven and see God pour forth blessings to meet the needs of our lives.