Heard a great sermon this morning. (I love iPods.) He talked about not wasting our prayers. He uses James 4:2-5, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’?” James says that when we ask for things from God to use merely for our own benefit and not to enjoy and glorify God above all other things, then I am an adulterer.
The pastor then gave an analogy. When we do this, it’s like a wife who also has a boyfriend. She goes to her husband and prays (or asks) of him, “Give me fifty dollars so I can enjoy myself and be happy”. The husband gives her the money and goes to bed. Meanwhile, she leaves the house and goes to her boyfriend, then gives him the money to have sex with him. This is essentially the picture of James 4!
I’m reading through Jeremiah and Isaiah right now. It again and again likens idolatry with adultery and whoredom. How would it change our lives to see that we all are idolaters and commit adultery, for we so often worship the image in our mirror.