Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don’t they come from your pleasures that war in your members? You lust, and don’t have. You kill, covet, and can’t obtain. You fight and make war. You don’t have, because you don’t ask. You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.
You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Don’t speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?
God gives us an incredible test to determine where we stand with him: answered prayer. When God is not answering our prayers, we need to take notice and make some changes.
- Are you asking and receiving or are you asking and not receiving?
- Are you friends with the world?
- How can we be “enemies of the world” and still reach out to the world with the saving grace of Jesus Christ?
- What does “the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously” mean?
- Are you humble?
- How do you resist the devil?
- How do you need to draw nearer to God today?
- Are you double-minded?
- Do we mourn our situation enough?
- How can we continually humble ourselves before God?
- How can we avoid speaking against one another?
I have prayers that aren’t answered. That makes me really sad this morning after reading this passage. What else is there to do? I must humble myself before God and ask him to change me more, to humble me in his presence.
Father, Abba Father, hallowed be your name. Father, forgive me for the infighting. Forgive me for wanting pleasure more than you. Forgive me for my lust for more. Forgive me and my generation for murdering and coveting and warmongering. Father, teach me how to ask things of you in the right manner. Give me the right motives. Father, teach me how to live within the world but not of this world, a friend of you and not a friend to the world. May your Spirit consume me. Please, Holy Father, extend to me more grace. Beat the proud out of me and replace it with humility. May I constantly be in subject to you and you alone. Help me to resist the devil and may he depart from me. May I constantly be drawing near to you and may you meet me quickly. Wash my hands, Father, purify my heart. I weep over my own sin and the sin of my generation. Father, I humble myself before you. May you alone glorify your servant’s name. Help me to never speak against another brother or sister again and may I never judge them. Father, Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone is our judge—may I never forget that. In Jesus’ name I ask these things. Amen.