Now I read my Bible every day and I go to church every Sunday (hard to skip when your husband is the pastor lol) and I’m generally receptive and interested in spiritual things as a rule. But not too long ago I noticed that my spiritual growth had pretty much tanked. And the scary thing is it didn’t really bother me all that much. I was kind of content. Well, kind of… When you’ve tasted and you’ve seen, there’s always that gnawing thing in the back of your mind whispering to you, “you’re settling for less. You know there is more than this.” But sometimes life just gets heavy and its all you can do to keep afloat, much less do any long distance swimming.
But God is good, and He is gentle. Those nudges and reminders that ‘there is more’ are most definitely from Him. And it is because, even though I may be content with the status quo, He’s not. He wants a deeper intimacy with me. He is always the initiator in this relationship. Initially when this thing with me and God started, I didn’t ‘find God’ as if He was hiding and I was searching under every rock and bush. The truth is, He found me. And then I responded to Him. Even when I ran from Him, He patiently pursued. And that hasn’t stopped. He still pursues and I respond. Or sometimes I don't. But that’s how it works even though it may seem like I’m the one after Him. Even when I do pursue Him, He still was the one who stirred my heart in the first place, to come after Him.
At first, the gentle reminder that, 'this isn’t all there is but there is more’, passed through my consciousness, pausing there briefly. Then as I responded- a little, and then a little more- it gained a footing. And then as it built, the thought began to gain momentum in my heart. And now it has taken hold of me to where I sat in front of the computer screen yesterday for 15 hours straight, transfixed, watching the Azusa Now conference in Los Angeles on the 110 year anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, worshipping and interceding for God to do it again in our time. Not saying that those who didn't watch aren't hungry, but I just know where I was. And I know that I wouldn’t have been interested in sitting and watching that for 30 minutes a few months ago. So something has taken root in me. And it's up to me to fan the flame and to not let the fire die down again.
I think most of us at some point in our childhood were told, “Don’t eat that now, it’ll ruin your appetite. Supper is almost ready.” How is our appetite ruined? In the natural it is simply from filling our bellies with other things to where there is no room or desire for anything more. I’m not implying that everything in this life, other than reading your Bible or praying or worshipping, is evil. Rather, I think it is a matter of the heart. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. (Luke 12:34) When our heart is running after things that are of lesser value, it spoils our appetite for that which is greater. It doesn’t have to be running after something bad, but is it running after the best? It's about seeking treasure. What is our greatest treasure? What is our heart running the hardest after?
One of my very favorite scriptures that I have gone back to so many times in my life, because it anchors me and kind of boils it all down for me is: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33). My KJV (Kayla Johnson version) ;) paraphrase is this: “Make God your greatest priority, your greatest love and desire and from there, everything else will fall into it’s rightful place of importance.” Or to say it another way, “Instead of focusing on finding the answer to life’s problems, find God. And when you find Him, you find your answer; Your problem wont really matter that much anymore.” Like the lyrics to that old song,
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of His glory and grace.”
So all that to say this: I’m hungry again. And I’m praying to be MORE hungry. Because you will pursue what you are hungry for. I don’t want to find Him and then to stop pursuing. In a healthy marriage relationship, you keep pursuing intimacy. You don't say, "that's enough" and let it stagnate. I don’t want to go back to boredom and disinterest or casual Christianity. When I read church history about men and women of God like- DL Moody, Smith Wigglesworth, William J Seymour and Maria Woodworth-Etter (to name a few) who God used to spark revival in their generation; men and women just like us, who really knew God, who encountered Him, who were changed, and in the process touched nations and made history for the kingdom of God- I get hungry. Why not again? Why not today? Why not this generation? Why not me? Why not you?
So examine yourself. Are you spiritually healthy? How's your appetite?
Let us not be satisfied with where we are. We can never have too much of God. There is always more to discover about Him, more to experience in Him, more of me for Him to fill. If you are finding yourself, like I did, content with where you are, not hungry for more, ask Him to increase your hunger for Him. He will certainly do it. Actually it’s His idea in the first place.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. Matt. 5:6
Let’s not ruin our appetite. Supper is almost ready.
There. Is. More!