Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart
Devotional Day 5
“Taking Your Desires to God”
Scripture: James 4:1-3
Each of the enemies of the heart is energized by the idea that somebody owes something. Guilt says, “I owe you.” Anger is fueled by the notion that you owe me. Greed is kept alive by the assumption that I owe me. This fourth heart issue is no differently. Jealousy. Jealousy says, “God owes me.”
When we think about jealousy or envy, we immediately think of the things others have that we lack—looks, skills, opportunities, health, height, inheritance, etc. We assume our problem is with the person who possesses what we lack. But let’s face it; God could have fixed all of that for us. Whatever he gave your neighbor, he could have given you too. That’s why you may feel inside that he owes you.
Jealousy can terrorize your life and wreak havoc in your relationships. The good news is, this behemoth, like the other three, has a vulnerability. And it’s something you might not expect: stop coveting what others have and start asking God for what he knows is best for you.
As James says, our external conflicts are the direct result of an internal conflict that has worked its way to the surface. We want something but we don’t have it, so we get in fights with others. The desires James is referring to in this passage represent unquenchable thirsts—our thirsts for stuff, money, recognition, success, progress, intimacy, sex, fun, relationship, partnership.
So what do we do with desires and appetites that can never be fully and finally satisfied? James says we take them to the one who created them in the first place. In other words, James is giving us permission to pour out our hearts in an unfiltered conversation with our Creator.
Every concern you have, great and small, matters to the Father because you matter to the Father. Whether it pertains to your love life, your career, your marriage, your parents, your children, your finances, your education, or your appearance, bring it to him. And keep bringing it to him until you find the peace to get up off your knees and face the day, confident in the knowledge that he cares for you.
Let me assure you, your heart will always be dear to his heart.
What is your heart aching for? Spend some time in absolutely free, uninhibited conversation with God about what you feel you lack. Ask him to bless you in the way he knows is best—and to reveal his love to you along the way
We hope you enjoyed Andy’s 5-day YouVersion devo on “Enemies of the Heart.” Dig deeper and find long-term healing and restoration by picking up a copy of Andy’s book, Enemies of the Heart,from a retailer near you.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 4:1-3 KJV