You Can't Move in Two Directions at Once

March 4, 2022

5 Minutes

“Kid Dynamite” Mike Tyson once famously said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

It may also be true that everyone wants God’s will until it’s at odds with their own.

Because of the power our will has to CLOUD a clear view of God’s will, the Scriptures warn us about being double-minded. When we don’t have an opinion on the matter, it’s often easy to see the benefit of doing God’s will. Still, once our desires are engaged, things begin to break down because maybe we want God’s will AND our own will (and definitely ours if there’s a tie).

“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. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” – James 4:2b–4 NLT

Put the passion back in your weekend.

In the Old Testament, the people of God were often called adulteresses for CLAIMING to serve God while pursuing idols. 

James is saying we can’t move in two directions at once. 

The Supreme Court makes the final decisions when it comes to the laws of the United States. When they speak, all other courts must adjust. A Christian is a kingdom person who adjusts their decisions to God’s decisions even if they don’t immediately relate to or prefer them. 

Saved people serve people.

Ask for what you want.

For some, the hard part is less in the asking in more in the believing that God wants to give us good things. God is a good Father, and He won’t offer us a snake or a rock (see Luke 11:11). 

He actually does want us to have things that we want.

Here is where faith comes in. 

When God asks us to pray in faith (see Mark11:24), He isn’t just looking for us to believe for the request itself. He is asking us to believe, ABOUT HIM, that He is the KIND of God who loves to give His children good gifts. 

I could ask you, “What are you believing God for?” But it may be more helpful to ask, “What are you believing ABOUT THE GOD you’re asking things of?”

Do you believe that He loves to give good gifts to his children?

Ask with the right motive.

The wrong motive is wanting what we want REGARDLESS of whether or not the thing requested is what God wants. 

The core of what is wrong with our hearts here is pride. We are foolish and insane enough to think that what we want is actually a better deal than what God would want for us. 

The only appropriate response to sinfully preferring our short-sighted desire over the Lord’s all-wise will is to humble ourselves. Which is exactly what James tells us to do.

“So humble yourselves before God … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” – James 4:7, 10 NLT

Pride thinks it knows best. Humility makes obedience the objective INSTEAD OF the thing desired. It doesn’t mean we stop wanting what we wanted, it just means we want what God wants more.

God is just and all-powerful. He is, therefore, able to bring about justice for those who leave it to Him.

We can’t move in two directions at once.

Ask for what you want, believing that God loves to give you things that make you smile. And ask, believing that if God doesn’t give you what you want the way you want it, it’s because He loves you and has something better in mind. And prefer that result over what you asked for (i.e., right motive).

Can you leave it to God?

Whatever it is you want, can you place it in His hands and trust Him to do what is right, even if that means doing the opposite of what you wish?

Father God,

Thank you so much for choosing me to be yours. I ask that you open my eyes to your ways and help me recognize where my own self-centered interests may be interfering with my pursuit of your will. Shape my prayers and show me what to ask for in the right amount at the right time. Thank you Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  


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