By John Miltenberger
I am extremely blessed to be part of a Christian body that is led to continually strive for personal and corporate holiness, and never ceases to push for more of the manifest presence of the Lord. I know this zeal pleases the Lord, and because of this congregational focus, real transformational change becomes inevitable. It is exciting, but there are extenuating circumstances….
The other night I was praying and asking God for more of Himself. What on earth can that mean?! Simply, that God’s Holy Spirit would manifest Himself and His desires more readily through my life than ever before. But in the middle of my muddle, I heard God speaking to my spirit, and He mentioned this mitigating factor: “If I give you more of Myself, I will have to put up with more of yourself!” Ahhh!! Just a fact; not a rebuke.
I keep thinking that if I get desperate enough for God’s presence, I’ll manage somehow to move Him to action. Or perhaps, He’ll get tired of hearing my pleadings and just give in to my requests. None of that is true. God wants to give more of Himself to His people, more than his people want more of Himself; we are the issue. We are always the issue.
I want the spiritual high of enjoying more of God and His immediate power, but for me, and for many, it’s more like going to the circus to break up the religious monotony. And although God is quite an entertainer, it’s not His desire to be only entertaining. He wants, and has always wanted, to live among His people. I suppose brief visits are better than nothing, but it’s not what He really wants. God wants to live among His people, and display Himself through their lives in such a way that all may realize and acknowledge His Lordship.
That puts us back to the beginning – we are the problem. I think I need to focus my desperation on the changes that must be made to me, before I am a fit vessel to host God’s habitation. The much abused verse, Psalm 37:4, says: ‘Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.’ It is often abused by those who would limit it to our desires, thus making the Bible seem to endorse our own self interests. If my five year old delights himself in me, will I give him the keys to the car?
So I wonder, in all of this, what are God’s desires? When or how does He get the desires of His heart? Shouldn’t this concern me more than myself? Let’s face it, without my future resting firmly in His hands, I have no eternity, no matter how seemingly desperate I act. And unless I know what His desires are, how can I give them to Him?
Just a thought…
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