When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3). What motivates you when you ask? If you are asking to receive things from life rather than from God, you are motivated by a desire for self-realization. Watch out if this is the case. The more you realize yourself, the less will you seek God.

“Seek and you will find.” Have you ever sought God with your whole heart? Or do you merely give a half-hearted cry in his direction in moments of doubt? Get to work. Narrow your interests until they are centered on God. Seek, concentrate, and you will find.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). Are you thirsty, or are you so satisfied with your experience that you want nothing more from God? Experience is a gateway, not a destination. Beware of building your faith on experience. If you do, you run the risk of becoming so smug that you wind up driving others away from God. You can never give other people what you’ve found, but you can make them homesick for what you’ve got.

“Knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The door is closed; your heart is pounding. “Wash your hands, you sinners.” Knock a bit louder; you notice that you are dirty. “Purify your hearts.” This is even more personal; you are filled with sincerity now. “Grieve, mourn and wail.” Have you ever gone before God full of grief about the state of your inner life? Have you gone without an ounce of selfpity remaining inside you, only a heartbreaking amazement that you are what you are? “Humble yourselves” (James 4:8–10). It is deeply humbling to knock at God’s door; you knock with the crucified thief. “To the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8).

Wisdom from Oswald

Defenders of the faith are inclined to be bitter until they learn to walk in the light of the Lord. When you have learned to walk in the light of the Lord, bitterness and contention are impossible.
Biblical Psychology