It started a couple of years ago, actually. This feeling that would creep up whenever the talk turned to more of God. More of His presence. Something about that didn’t sound right to my spirit, but I didn’t know why.
Not too long ago, a well-known preacher (one of my favorites, in fact), spoke about this very thing, this hunger for more of God’s presence. I understood the point he was trying to make, but that creeping uneasiness was now full on stalking me. Still, the very next time I was in prayer, I told God I just wanted to be in His presence, told Him I wanted more. So He said something back to me.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? – 1Corinthians 3:16
Presence. Dwelling in me.
“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”—Galatians 2:20
Where is there more than that? Where will I find more presence than Jesus living in me? Just what is this hunger for more?
Why are we hungering for something we have dwelling within us? I think if we’re going to be hungry, raise our hands and fall on our knees and cry out ‘more Lord’, we should know why, shouldn’t we?
Maybe not. Maybe there is no rhyme, no reason. Maybe God follows the rule to ‘always leave them wanting more’. Maybe we want all of Him and all of Him doesn’t fit inside jars of clay. Maybe we all just instinctively know that there must be more.
Maybe we need a different question. Maybe God asked me a question that won’t leave me be. Maybe you need to hear it too.
How are you stewarding the presence you already have?
My soul feels sucker-punched. And since we’re wanting more, there’s more.
What are you doing, in the presence of God?
What are you saying, in the presence of God?
What are you watching, in the presence of God?
What are you thinking about, in the presence of God?
How are you loving, in the presence of God?
How are you serving, in the presence of God?
How are you living, with Christ in you, the hope of glory?
Everywhere we go, we bring the presence of God in with us. How are we stewarding that presence? Who around us is hurting? Who is struggling? Who needs encouragement? Who needs to see light in the darkness? Who needs to witness the goodness of God in a corrupt world? Who needs to see the integrity of Jesus, the faithfulness of Jesus, the willingness of Jesus to draw near when others pull away?
Then there’s this. Are we entering the room with ourselves in mind, looking for our own needs to get met, wanting, needing attention? Do we come in complaining, discontent or distracted? I’m talking about the grocery store. The gas station. Our jobs, our churches. I’m talking about our homes.
Or this. How powerless are we living? How addicted are we? How much weakness do we claim? How defeated do we feel? How less than, unworthy, unwanted, unvalued do we believe we are?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hungering for more of God. There is a very real ache in the Beloved, a longing, a yearning, for Jesus. But I think we may have become preoccupied with believing the answer is found here, usually in a really good worship service/revival meeting/conference. But let’s just be honest about this thing.
We go to all the worship services and are genuinely moved to worship. We attend the conferences and leave with our treasures, our takeaways, our nuggets to ponder. We attend all the things, go where we think His presence is going to be ‘poured out’. And often, we do encounter Him through conviction, through worship, through a revelation of truth.
But it doesn’t make it go away, does it? We still long for Him. We still want more. We’re still hungry for His presence.
Because this isn’t heaven.
Until we see Him face to face, something in us will continually long for more of Him.
But I think God may be asking us why we want more when we don’t really know what to do with what we already have within us.