James 4:13-16

 

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will[a] go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

 
 
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How often do we find ourself praying God to bless our plans, and when He does not answer,we become frustrated and begin to doubt Him and His willingness to do what He has said in His word? And how often do we find ourself praying to God to bless our plans, and when He does not answer, we become worried, anxious, fearful and even convinced we have not prayed enough, done enough, tithed enough or worked hard enough for Him to bless us and hear our prayers? How would the world be like if we where happy with only the blood? 
 
These are questions that has lingered in my mind lately. With all of this stress going on in my own life, contractors who has done a terrible job building the house we are selling, our wish to become debt free and my life long dream of being able to quit my current job and begin to work in my own ministry under my full name all seems so appropriate desires. And God is not against us having dreams and desires, but something is wrong somewhere if they turn into weapons of fear, anxiety or stress. What do I mean by that?
 
If we desire something so bad that it affects our mood and our joy it has become something we worship. So if we desire even biblical things so bad that it affects our mood and joy we have suddenly found ourself making an idol and worshiping it. This is how the devil works, and how our sin nature works. We desire for instance healing. Healing is a biblical desire, God is our healer and He wants to heal us. But if we get so caught up in our desire for healing that it affects our joy and general mood we have suddenly found ourself worshiping healing as an idol. And when we do we make a way for the devil to come in and tempt us to go even further into sin. The devil has no problem telling us we need to work really hard to be healed, pray hard, fast, tithe money we dont have all in an attempt to make God heal us. Of course the Bible says God heals un account of our faith in the finished works of Christ, never on account of what we do and our works. So in such a case we will never see healing, and the devil will jump right in and tell us lies making us believe God does not love us anymore, making us believe we have to work even harder. 
 
So we find ourself stuck on a treadmill just because we have found ourself worshiping a biblical thing like healing. 
 
This is what our text today talks about, how important it is to remain focused on the cross and not on the things we want. And how would our lives be like if we as christians where happy and content with having nothing but the blood? 
 
Imagine for a moment how it would be like if you needed healing, but instead of desiring healing, you only desired the blood of Jesus. What if you needed money, but instead of desiring money, you only desired and prayed for the blood of Jesus? I do not know about you, but to me, its almost a little scary. My first thought is this "we have to tell God what we want, how will He know if we dont tell Him?". And yes the Bible says we are to pray about everything and tell Him everything. But there is a difference between praying and demanding. There is a difference between complaining and praying. 
 
The Bible says in Matt 6:25-34 God knows already what we need, why should he not know, He is God so He knows exactly what you need today and what you are going to need tuesday 10 years from now. In Matt 6:25-34 Jesus says we are not to worry and He tells us our Father WANTS to meet all our needs. So we do not have to ask God to meet our needs, He has already said that if our faith is in the blood (Rom 3:22) then He will do the rest and meet all our needs on account of our faith ( Roman 8:32)
 
So we do not need to tell God to do anything, we dont need to tell Him to heal us, provide for us, protect us or guide us. We do not need to ask Him to do anything, so we do not need to worry if He has heard us. And the key to this is always the blood. 
 
It is obvious from the Bible there is only 1 thing we need, only 1 thing we should always ask for knowing He never says no. This 1 thing is the blood of Jesus and He never denies the blood to anybody who comes to Him in prayer asking for the blood from a repented heart. What does it mean to have a repented heart? If you understand the cross, you know there is nothing good in you (Roman 3:10). You can never do anything but sin so when you understand your sin you will desperatly cling to the blood of Christ because you will know and understand the blood is the only thing that stands between you and hell. 
 
But we do not need to complain to God. God knows life sucks sometimes, but still so many of us will first tell God what we want Him to do and then we will try to tell Him how much our needs affects our lives, our moods and how life sucks. God knows our needs, He wants to meet our needs and He knows our lives sucks sometimes. When we complain we are not praying, complaining is an expression of doubt in Gods ability to meet our needs. Its more then just an expression of doubt, its actually worship of an idol. in this case we end up worshiping what we dont have. 
 
Everytime you desire something so much that it steals your joy you are worshiping what you are desiring. And if this thing you desire is not the blood of Jesus, then you are worshiping an idol which is a sin. 
 
So what are we to do, how do we pray? 
 
Prayer is conversations with Dad. Dad loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be sacrificed for your sins. He did not have to do that, but He chose to do it because He loves you. We cant live and make it in this life without the sacrifice of Jesus. Everything we do is a sin, we cant do anything but sin. The only thing that makes us righteous is the sacrifice of Jesus and our faith in it. So its obvious the sacrifice of Jesus is the most important thing to God and our key to life and living. 
 
It is obvious prayer starts with thanking God for Jesus. Thanking for His blood and His sacrifice. And then asking for forgiveness for your sins and again thanking God for the blood that has payed for the sins you have done that day. Then it becomes natural to tell God what is going on in your life. Tell Him what has happened lately and what is on your heart. Tell Him what concerns you, what worries you and what makes you scared. Dont complain, dont ask Him to do something to the situation, just share your heart with Him. And then comes the important part: When you have shared your heart, ask Him for the blood for everything you have told Him. 
 
Ask for the blood for every situation you have just told Him about and watch what happens.
 
i cant guarantee instant results. But I can guarantee that if you pray like that you have prayed a biblical prayer that God hears and answers. How can I guarantee this? Because in your prayer, you have given God freedom to move on your behalf. You have not told Him how to do His job, which gives Him freedom to move unexpectedly and suddenly. You have not stagnated in your mind on how you want God to solve your situation, which makes you flexible to accept what will happen. But best of all, you have asked for the blood of Jesus. Asking for the blood of Jesus is a sure thing for everything in your life, a thing that ensures and guarantees Gods best answer. Why? Because the blood payed for it all. 
 
The blood of Jesus payed for your healing, for your provision, for your freedom from sin and the consequences of sin. So by asking for the blood of Jesus you are asking to be freed from sin, you are asking for healing, you are asking for provision and you are asking to be freed from the consequences of sin. But you are asking God to do it His way and not your way, and His way is always the best. 
 
So dont make plans, dont boast in your plans but boast in the blood of Jesus because that is the only sure thing in this world.