Saturday, June 7, 2008

Can We Hurt God?

James 4:1-5
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? (James is referring to the Holy Spirit, I checked to be sure)

I came across these verses again, when I was doing my Spirit search and I have been thinking about them off and on. I am not a theologian, so I may be wrong but here is what I came up with.

I wonder if God hates being ignored as much as we do??? Especially by people we love. Have you ever been in that situation? Where you really love someone and you can't tell if they care if you live or die? Well, they would probably go to your funeral, but by the next day, you suspect they would have forgotten all about you? And you want to rant and rave to get their attention, but you are too self-controlled and mature for that. :) (OK, I am being silly now...back to serious.)

This is what these verses say to me: As Christians we have all these ideas of right and wrong and some of us are willing to fight about them, saying we are doing it for God, when really, we are just wanting something. Something we could have, if we learn how to put God first and ask with pure motives. So we are distracted by our wants and the world. And then we can't figure out why we aren't happy. And God isn't happy with the situation either. Seems to me, anyway.

I like the thought of God being jealous because He wants my time and attention, so He can give me what I need and want instead of me scrounging for it and hurting others in the process.

Do you think God hates being ignored or do you think He is above that?


Julene said...

I have been reading in James too! I think everything in scripture shows that God hates being ignored. I looked up jealousy - desires to have the same or the same sort of thing for itself. The difference between us being jealous and God being jealous is that God is actually worthy of receiving what He is jealous for! So His is a Holy, pure jealousy.

Kristi said...

Yeah...pretty sure you are on the right track here. But...normally you are, all the time.

paul maurice martin said...

I guess personally, the way I tend to think of God is that God is more than we can get a handle on. So for me, even when people say "God is love" - which, of all human feelings, is the one that strikes me as most Godly - I find myself not wanting to ascribe to God exactly what we feel, even at our best.

The Bible shows really a number of ways of looking at God. One of the ones that resonates most for me is the scene where God speaks to Job from out of the whirlwind and answers his complaining, which certainly appears justified enough, with "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?" In other words, pointing out to Job how little he knows about ultimate matters.

So to me, God's truly awesome nature, going beyond what we can put into words or describe with precision - that's the conception that works best for me.

Tawny said...

Thanks for your comment Julene. It is very interesting that jealousy is different than envy.

Kristi, thank you for your confidence, but I get it wrong sometimes! So set me straight when I do. :)

Paul, I agree that God's ways are higher than our ways and His goodness compared to ours is like the sun compared to a star. (Yes, the sun is a star, but you know what I mean) I do believe He made us in His image though, and He wants us to know Him. He gave us our emotions so we can understand His. I used to hate the way He answered Job and now I love it. To me, He was saying, "I am trustworthy, do you believe that or not"? Thank you for your comment, I love to discuss this sort of stuff! :)

darla-overcomer said...

yes! thats my answer, and I base it on the prophets, both major and minor..if we are ignoring Him we are more likely worshipping an idol..although our culture doesn't alwaya recognise that. my two cents, and I am not a theologian either.. nice loving looking around!

Tawny said...

Good point Darla. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tawny said...

This is from my friend Marion, she emailed her response to me:

Yes, I think God doesn't like being ignored, but since He knows He's Sovereign, and in the end He'll have the final word, it probably saddens Him for our sakes, not His. He wants what's best for us and is jealous because of His great love for us.

This is what I read this morning in the Message regarding the book of Hosea:

God goes after us at our worst, keeps after us until He gets us, and makes lovers of men and women who know nothing of real love.