We are talking about what asking amiss really means. So far, we’ve seen that it involves the tongue. With the tongue we can curse or bless. Choose to bless others.
We’ve also seen that asking amiss involves “worldly wisdom”, which is opposite of the wisdom that comes down from Heaven.
This post will deal with the motivations of the heart, taken from James 4:1-3.
James 4:1-3 (New Living Translation)
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
The KJV words Verse 3 like this: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
The word “amiss” in the Greek means: to ask wrongly or with wrong motives or wicked intentions, usually for selfish gain without regard for others (or no intention of using what you get to bless others with it).
The word “consume” in the Greek means: to squander, to waste, to misuse, to throw away, a lack of stewardship and of being responsible with what you have.
The word “lusts” in the Greek is in reference to riotous living, no self-discipline or self-control, indulgence in sinful pleasures, greed, covetousness, allowing things to control you.
God is against financial corruption, dishonesty, bribery, fraud, extortion, theft, exploitation, sexual immorality, vice, evil.
God looks at the heart and intentions when we ask Him for things. Those who have a pure heart and right intentions would not ask amiss.
Nowhere in any of these passages is it implying that it would be selfish on our part to ask God to bless us with an abundant supply in order that we may have everything we need for everyday living.
God is a King and His children are supposed to be princes and princesses.
Besides asking the Lord for financial blessings, I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where asking God for non-material blessings is wrong. For example, asking God for the husband or wife of His perfect will for you, asking God for children, asking the Lord for godly friends, asking God for healing, asking God for wisdom or asking God for anything else that is good and positive.
The devil is a thief who wants to steal everything from you (John 10:10a).
Jesus is the opposite – He is Righteous and Good. He came to give us life, and life more abundantly, till it overflows (John 10:10b).
The word “overflow” gives the picture of being so full that you cannot contain it anymore—it begins to spill over. If you fill a glass with water and keep the water spout on, the water will reach the top of the glass and then begin to spill over.
This is the picture of the Lord’s desire to bless His children. He wants to fill us with life and blessings—not just until we are full, but keep pouring it on until we are overflowing.
Religion says that God will meet our needs, but not our wants. God is a wonderful, generous father who delights in meeting both our needs and wants. (Every person and every culture may have their own definition of a need and a want.)
God does not necessarily distinguish between a need and a want. He is generous.
Psalms 37:4 says that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.
That word “delight” is the Hebrew word anag. It means to be soft and pliable. God is the Potter and we are the clay, and He wants us to allow Him to mold us into the vessel that He wants to design us into. He wants us to allow Him to have His way in our lives.
The word delight also means to take pleasure in the Lord, to love Him and to worship Him.