"What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 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. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure." James 4:1-3 (NLT)
Have you ever said, "Why is there so much evil and pain in the world?" This is an honest and sincere question, and at times, seems to have no answer. If we slow down and think about the pain we have experienced in life, wouldn't much of it find it's origins in the actions of other people? Of course natural disasters and sickness have produced their fair share of pain, but the hurts that cause the deepest wounds are those inflicted by people. If we are honest, we have caused that same pain in others.
Notice what James says is at the root of our hurtful actions - selfishness, jealousy, greed, and hatred. Deep inside "We want," "We desire," "We hate." We are the problem, not God, and not this fallen world, but our fallen natures and distorted hearts. Even when we ask for good things, we ask for the wrong reasons. We are asking only for our benefit and not to help others. God can not and will not honor these requests.
Not all is so grim. Jesus came to transform our tangled hearts and minds and poured His love into our hearts (Romans 5:5) and gave us His Spirit and His Word so that we could possess His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16). Jesus loves us and is the one in control, so we don't have to act out of control. And there is the rub, CONTROL. At the root of our greed, hatred, and anger is the fear of losing control of our lives.
Jesus didn't come to give us control of our lives, but to invite us to surrender control to the one who loves us and is in control. When you surrender yourself, and your wants to Jesus, He will take control in a way that is perfect and will allow you to have rest and peace. You don't have to be the one in charge. We weren't created to be in charge of our own lives. Jesus is King, and He needs to remain so. Today choose to step off of the Throne of Control and allow Jesus to take His rightful place.
Lord Jesus, I am scared of many things, and I am tempted to take and grab (control) for myself. Help me today to trust You and let you be the One who defends and cares for me according to Your good will and desire for my life. I ask you to sit on the Throne of my heart. Amen