For the most part, wanting more of something is considered negative. To want more money, food, shoes, or success signals that we are not content with what we have. There is one area of life, however, where wanting more is a very good thing—wanting more of God.
The problem is we are usually content with how much of God we have. We are happy to know that he loves us and that we will go to heaven when we die. We might sing a worship song along that theme, but rarely do we feel hungry for more of God. So we relegate our spiritual life to a corner while we pursue relationships, achievements, and enjoy the world around us. Only when a crisis hits do we even realize how distant we are from him.
The constant presence of God is promised to every one of his children. However, you can be in the same room with Jesus and be completely unaware of his presence. God’s abiding Spirit can be crammed so far in the corner of your heart that you hardly know he’s there.
The Hungry Are Fed
God said to the nation of Israel, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV). Some of the Psalms express a desperate desire for God’s presence, comparing the longing for God to panting for water in a desert, but how can you make yourself desire more of God?
A great woman of the faith, Eugenia Price wrote, “My need is the most glorious possession I have outside of Christ himself.” Have you ever considered being desperate for God as a precious gift to be sought?
Most of us reflect on seasons of hardship and think of those times as a blessing. Although we probably wouldn’t want to walk through the trial again, we would also never trade the intimacy with God that came from being so desperate for his presence to make it through the day. Oh, to wake up every morning with the compulsion to seek God before I even have a sip of coffee! To wake during the night with the words of a psalm running through my mind! To walk each step of the day with a momentary awareness that my God is with me!
You don’t have to walk through a crisis to be desperate for God. You don’t have to wait until cancer strikes or your house is foreclosed. God is waiting, willing to be sought and wanting to be found.
How Much of God Do You Want?
One of my favorite authors, A. W. Tozer, taught that we have exactly as much of God as we really want. That’s a convicting thought, cutting right to the core. My spiritual life languishes not because God is stingy with his presence, but because I’m too content to operate without him. It is God who can give the hunger and satisfy it, but we must begin by asking for more.
Jesus told the story of a man who found a “pearl of great price.” The man recognized that he had found great treasure and went to great cost to secure it, selling everything he owned.
To walk intimately with God will cost you. Seeking the Lord means saying no to the things that fill the sound and space of loneliness. Last night, I was in a hotel room all by myself. Often the quiet of my own hotel room is a blessing, but last night was different. I felt lonely, discouraged, and unsettled. In the room was a television filled with options for movies and other entertainment. I could have called a friend or even taken a walk around the city. But I sensed the Lord asking me to say no to distractions and press into him. It was a battle. I knew that I could numb my restlessness with entertainment and activity, but I also knew that true peace would only come through seeking the Lord.
Like most of life, our walk with the Lord isn’t the result of one profound spiritual experience but from the daily choices we make to seek him or to ignore him. As content as we may feel without the nearness of God, we desperately need him. Only by his power can we impact the world. Only by his peace can we keep our hearts steadfast. Only by his love can we extend genuine love to those around us.
We will never be hungry for God as long as he exists among a list of other things that sustain and satisfy us. Are you willing for him to be all?
Lord, I would trust Thee completely. I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all. I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy ovreshadowing Presence and to hear Thy speaking Voice. I long to live in restful sincerity of heart. I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thought may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every part of my life may be an act of worship. ~ A. W. Tozer