You Don’t Have… Because YOU Don’t Ask… the RIGHT Way!

man in praiseYou Don’t Have… Because YOU Don’t Ask… the RIGHT Way! 

James 4:2b says it like this: You do not have, because you do not ask.” 

There are reasons we are going to get into that are found prior and after to this statement James made that is a “tell-tale” sign of the heart condition and then we will look at the asking portion. 

James 4 4 What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fighting’s) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members?” 

First thing addressed is “strife” and this is at any level that he refers.  

How often do you experience conflict in your household? Friendships or church/ministry relationships whether its friends or casual relationships? Workplace/business…? Marriage? 

James asks an all important questions “how do conflicts quarrels and fighting’s originate among you?” Then, he answers it… “sensual desires ever warring in your bodily members.” First off in this culture we are programmed especially in religious culture to first think of “sensual” as sexual but that is not the case even if it includes it, it means much more! 

The word sensual is often translated lusts in other biblical texts but in the Greek the word is “hedone” meaning… pleasure to please, delight.  

The conflict of the flesh is that we “want what we want” alluding to our “will” our choices in other words whatever makes US happy or pleases us! 

Interesting the definition of LOVE 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].” I Corinthians 13:5 

So it would be safe to say that when we insist on our way or silently are “self seeking” , or resentful we didn’t “get our way” or what we wanted, or become consumed with the fear of not having what we desire “fretful” it is wrong because it’s not love but it is “strife”! 

Strife leads to jealousy, covetousness and/or resentment. 

“2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask”. 

Here we see the verse where James points this out…”desires unfulfilled” actually leads us into danger… check it out, murderers? To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned is what the text says. ALSO… remember, slander, backbiting and gossip are often the outward expressions of a jealous or covetous heart and that is like “character assassination” to the one being talked badly about! The longer an unfulfilled desire goes and seeing others have what you want is in you, anger and envy burn inside and it creates self unrest and then it becomes outward expressions that bring fighting and warring. Inside while that goes on often resentment and bitterness can take root, which is very bad. It serves only to “distance the heart” FROM God.  

Check out what David says in Psalms 66:18 18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” 

Look at the next verse in James… 

“3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures”. 

What? Wrong purpose, evil and selfish motives. In other words for what reason do you long for ___ (you fill in the blank). Oh, you may say, I just want a ministry or bigger one or church so I can serve the Lord… really? Do you? OR is it to help promote you and your desire to “be someone” when in fact, in God’s eyes you already are “someone”. Dreaming WITH God is one thing, desiring something can often be something else if the desire is not directed by Holy Spirit in order to bring you into fervent prayer and like mindedness with the Father’s will and plans.  

What it often boils down to, is the same type of “go getter” mentality the world presents to us that sounds good even right especially when we are in schools of training or college etc. That because the “world’s ways of doing things” and its rampant even in the church/ministries and homes and of course businesses. 

“4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God”. 

That is pretty sobering. How does it look in reality? Osawald Chambers had some things to say in My Utmost for His Highest  “when it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority—Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done. Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way. These misgivings about Jesus start from amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God–Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. It is all very well to say Trust in the Lord’, but a man must live and Jesus has nothing to draw with—nothing whereby to give us these things. Beware of the pious fraud in you which says I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself. …our misgivings arise from the fact that we ransack our own person to find out how HE will be able to do it. Our question springs from the depths of our own inferiority. If we detect these misgivings in ourself, let us bring them to light and confess them…’Lord, I have had misgivings about You, I have not believed in Your wits apart from my own. I have not believed in Your Almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.” 

James goes on to say… 

5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love? 

What is He saying? God does want to give us things why else would it be written in Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.” 

He is jealous over us because our affections and attention are to be given back to Him, not the world. Often we seek His hand, not His face… meaning “what can I get out of this” instead of “I long to know You Lord”.  

What is it He gives us to help? Verse 6 

6 But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). 

GRACE…a supernatural empowerment that gives us abundant life, now and forever. Grace will help us over all kinds of obstacles. Moving on… 

7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. 9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. 10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. 

Getting close to Him, standing firm and resisting the enemy and remaining of pure hearts (mind, will and emotions by confessing our sin and repentance, turning away and going in the RIGHT direction!) 

James goes on with instruction… 

11 [My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it]. 12 One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the One Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbor? {Remember “law” is Torah and means instruction too}

What was James saying or doing here? Reiterating something his brother Jesus had stated about “judge not or you will be judged…” 

Probably recalling the sermon on the mount where Jesus talked about not worrying about what to wear or eat or about tomorrow… 

13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. 15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. 

Jesus said instead… SEEK FIRST… the Kingdom of God and then these things will be doled out, given in a miserly way..NO…”ADDED” to you! 

Seek first..the Kingdom of God AND His righteousness… back to pure minds (what we think and believe), wills (choices & determinations) and emotions (self control & discipline)…kind of relates to God has not given us a “spirit of fear” but of what? POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND/SELF CONTROL! (Read Matthew 5-6). 

So James “calls it out”… 

16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. 17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin”. 

How many plan their 20 years or more “life plan”? Or for “retirement”? So am I saying goals are not good… actually goals are the world’s ways of doing things. If we “dream WITH God” He will guide our steps and when He leads us into preparation for future, it’s not just with us in mind, it always has to do with others as well! 

Which leads us to the next part… HOW then do we “ask”? 

Jesus gave us the “how to” and it actually connects many passages of scripture found in the old covenant or old testament. 

We have heard it called the “Lord’s prayer” but it was NOT His prayer… it was given for all… including us… ALL His disciples past, present and future! (BTW HIS prayer is found in John 17) 

Matthew 6:9-13 AMPC 

“9 Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. 13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”. 

First off…Heavenly Father’s name is SO holy that Jewish people won’t say it but JESUS never said don’t say it… only keep in mind that it is a name that is unlike anyone else and is far above all others! Respect and honor HIS name! 

HIS Kingdom come…some of the more acurate translations say “Your kingdom must come” why… Luke 17 Jesus gives the hint when He says that the Kingdom of heaven is in some of you, some meaning not in the Pharisees questioning Him in the manner they were doing.  

Kingdom means dominion, domain, government, rulership. HIS dominion /government must come now through us because HIS government will only increase, just as the prophet Isaiah said about Jesus. Of the increase will be His government see Isaiah 9:7 

7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” 

His will and His way where, on earth AS it is in Heaven… remember Jesus said whatever is already bound in heaven must be bound on earth and what is already loosed in heaven must be loosed on earth? 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 

He told them and US also… 19 Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.” Luke 10:19 

He said many things these are just some of the things Heavenly Father “wills to be done on earth” so it will look more like heaven, not just look but BE more like heaven to represent Him and His Kingdom! It’s why Paul said we are the ambassadors of Christ! 

GIVE us this day our daily bread… that is referring to a fresh word from God because we don’t live by bread (that is grown here on earth) alone! But, as Jesus said to the enemy… we live by every word out of the mouth of  GOD which means a “new and now, living word”! 

Forgive us our sins/trespasses/debts as we forgive those who have sinned/trespassed/become indebted to us. Meaning intentional and unintentional sins even sins of omission, things we should have done or said. AND to forgive everyone of every thing, wrong done to us! AND Jesus even told us to bless those who curse us, so bless your enemies. WHY? 

He said it’s like heaping coals of fire on their head, HIS love is like a flame of fire and to those not right with Him it feels like fire and convicts but to those whose hearts want to be made right, its like a burning flames of pure love that leads to repentance. Remember, its HIS kindness that “leads to repentance”.  

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Okay, the Hebrew/Aramaic understanding would mean do not allow us to be overwhelmed by the enemy’s plans and arrows and such but deliver us from “evil” meaning everything bad, chaotic, inclusive of sicknesses and such.

THEN here is the declaration “For YOURS is the government/dominion/ rule/KINGDOM and POWER (dunamis, miraculous, signs wonders etc) and the glory…HIS PRESENCE forever!  

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