Summary: Advice from a friend . . . it can be extremely helpful and life changing if listened to and applied. Jim has a lot to teach us. Let’s listen and learn.
According to Jim
Practical advice for practical living! Wisdom that we often fail to apply or live out and therefore we pay the price. Let’s listen and learn!
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
(Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. 2-3You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way.)
A. According to Jim motives mess with miracles.
Our motives are obstacles or doorways to blessings! Jim attacks our selfishness and states very clearly that we don’t have because when we finally expend all of our own energy and efforts to get what we want and we ask God that He refuses to bless us because we ask with the wrong motives. What is the wrong motive? He tells us. Our motive is wrong if what we ask for will be used on us. If it will be wasted on our own pleasure God says, “No.” God isn’t about blessing selfish people because He knows that we will use up the blessing on ourselves!
Have you ever met someone that just seemed to be blessed at every turn? It seems like anything they touch turns to gold. They always seem to have more than enough? I would almost guarantee you that it is someone that has learned to utilize their blessings to bless others. The tighter you hold on the less you get. The more you give away the more you get. Jim is forcing us to examine the motives of our heart. Why do you want the car? Why do you want the house? Why do you want the new job? Why do you want the cash?
We want our own way! Isn’t it funny that most of what Jim is teaching us goes back to grade school lessons? If we would have just learned the lessons we should have learned in preschool we wouldn’t get into the trouble we do. We want our own way and it gets us into trouble and it costs us miracles! Oh, and by the way . . .
B. According to Jim God would have flunked Kindergarten.
4You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
(4-6You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover.")
Why would God flunk kindergarten? Because He has never learned to share! God has an envy problem. God is monogamous! Multiple partners aren’t allowed. We have forgotten that God is a jealous God and doesn’t deal with our two timing very well. Have you ever dated a jealous person? They pale in comparison to the depth of God’s jealousy for you. A really important fact that you need to know is that the moment you cheat on Him He immediately goes from being a friend to being an enemy. You may not really care who your enemies are and I have taught you that having an enemy is inevitable. But let me loudly and boldly proclaim that you don’t want to have God as an enemy! He is an undefeated foe. He will not lose! And you may say, “God isn’t my enemy.” However, you determine whether this is true by how you live and if He isn’t working for you and with you He is then an enemy! I also need to tell you that if you have entered a relationship with God and now have walked away . . . God is a stalker! He will chase you down. He will pursue you and will not lose you easily. We think he just ignores our adultery. He doesn’t ignore it! He won’t allow it. This is why you can’t enjoy your sin. This is why your world is in chaos. This is why you are miserable. He is jealous and will not share you!