Tuesday, December 12, 2023

You Wouldn't Just Ask for It, Would You? (James 4:2)

It's a familiar scene. The bedroom door opens and a small figure dives between the covers of his sleeping parents. A few minutes of wiggling and eventually the duvet settles. No one else can do it, but the child has been admitted into a welcome and warm closeness simply because he's part of the family.

This is the privileged and personal access the Christ of Christmas has opened up to his followers. Because of his incarnational ministry, we who believe have become children of the living God, beloved and precious to him and welcomed into his presence at any time as part of his family. 

Remember this iconic photo?

JFK is seated at the Resolute Desk, and looking out from under it is his young son John Jr. The Oval Office may be one of the most closely guarded places on earth, but for John John, it was simply where his dad was. 

Do I enter God's throne room with boldness as often as I should? Hardly. I'd often rather complain about my problems to others. But Jesus tells us, "Go on asking. Keep on seeking. Continue knocking. Don't stop. Your Father in heaven delights in hearing you." 

The great R. A. Torrey once said, "We should never give up praying for it until we get it or until God makes it very clear and definite that it's not his will for us." I believe that God is eager to say "yes" to our prayers as long as our request is not motivated by selfish desire. Sadly, it sometimes never crosses our mind to pray that God would give us the desires of our heart. 

Or, to borrow a thought from James, the Lord's brother, "You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you?" (James 4:2, The Message).