When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives...you adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God...or did you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? James 4:3a; 4-5
I've purposefully typed only certain sections of the above verse not because I'm attempting to change the context, but because they are the words that jumped out at me last week and got me thinking. That's what I want to share today.
Ever had one of those friends in your life that only comes to you when they want something? You hardly ever hear from them until you can fill a need they have. Well, when I read this Scripture last week, God drew that picture across the pages of my Bible right about the moment I got to that last sentence:
or did you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
See, God envies anything that we place before him inner lives because he's a jealous God. I think we forget that sometimes. It's all too easy to go about our lives, making friendships and investing time into them while God sits on the back burner of our days. Until we need something. Then we rush to him and ask him for it..and act surprised when it doesn't immediately show up on our doorstep. (***sidenote*** I am NOT implying God won't answer those prayers. He's God. He loves us with this crazy, unconditional love that cannot be earned. What this post is about is how our actions can sometimes, I believe, sadden him.)
We didn't develop the relationship. We didn't spend time with him. We didn't learn about his character, what makes him laugh or smile, what makes him happy or sad...we neglect him until he's needed.
What friendship in your life could survive such fickleness?
Now my goal here isn't to hand out a heaping helping of guilt. It's to caution us. To nudge us--us, not you, because I can walk this line too. It's so easy to become consumed with all the tangible things around us: relationships, work, schedules...but God needs to come in front of them all. For some that may look like starting to pray in the mornings. Others it may mean picking up our first Bible Study. Still others may be urged to lengthen our half-hour to an hour. I honestly don't know, point is, God wants you to seek him every day, not simply on the days where you need something.
Relationships take time. They take effort. But I promise you, a relationship with God is the best reward your time and effort can earn.