James 4:3, “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
We all have wants. And the motives behind those wants is often focused on our own pleasure. Those things we hope for in this world. Sometimes the wants are needs and sometimes they aren’t. Led by our flesh, we seek to satisfy our sometimes insatiable desire with things that just don’t last.
God is not a spoilsport and it is not wrong to have pleasure. It’s God’s idea after all. He gave us taste buds. It was His idea for intimacy between a man and a woman. He is a good God. But there is so much more that God has for us than just the pursuit of pleasure. And it is when we pursue God that we have the highest pleasure. This is the pleasure we are to pursue. And God surprises us with earthly pleasures, too, that pale in comparison, to meet our human needs and godly desires.
But God also left us hungry.
Not because He was cruel, but so we would not stop seeking Him. So we would recognize our need and not be so easily satisfied with the created, that we would long for the Creator.
Last night as I was helping the youth lead worship at our church, we sang the song, “Take My Life” and it hit me that these youth are hungering for things in this world. Popularity. Materialistic belongings. Attention. Well, truth be told, we all are wanting relief or pleasure of some sort. A chocolate dessert, perhaps . . . 😉
But what would it be like if we asked God to help us to hunger after what we sing and talk about in church? If we were to hunger for so much of Him in our lives that the world would see Christ in us? Hungering after righteousness, holiness, and faithfulness. Craving His presence and His word and not letting any substitute stand in the way or distract us from God?