I recall a prayer I used to pray frequently during college, one filled with every bit of angst and emotion I could possibly muster in a given moment:
“God, I want more of you in my life.”
I had heard and sung songs of yearning for more of God. I had read John the Baptist’s succinct statement regarding his cousin, Jesus recorded in John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.” And I had been jealous of other guys in my circle who used to spend hours at a time praying and singing. The conclusion that I came to was expressed in the simple line above. My problem was that I didn’t have enough of God. I needed more of Him.
I’m still okay with the sentiment driving the prayer. I think it is, in fact, a very real statement. It’s an expression of longing for a life centered on the joy that only comes in God through Christ, one that becomes particularly meaningful when paired against the current sad state of one’s soul. So many competing pleasures. So many temptations. So many choices for temporary happiness in exchange for eternal goodness. So, so many.
It’s the articulation of the thing that I’m not sure about any more.
As it stands, that short line indicates that somehow, for some reason, there is, in fact, MORE of God to get. That up until this point, He’s been holding out on me… and maybe you, too. That there’s something else out there.
But that’s not true. Not according to Scripture. Not according to the gospel:
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:3-6).
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?” (Rom. 8:31-32).
God has given us everything He has to give in Christ. It’s ours, as co-heirs with Jesus. We are full and complete in Him. God will not give us more because there is not more to give. Not if we have Jesus.
And yet all the things above are still true. There is a vast difference between where we are and where we want to be. There is the continual draw of the world. And there is John’s statement, that he wanted Jesus to increase in and through Him.
And yet there is more.
The more, to God, is not in terms of quality. Nor is it in terms of quantity. It is only in terms of awareness.
The journey to more with God isn’t so much a journey to new places as it is a deeper discovery of where we already are. Any husband or wife can relate to this.
I remember when I married Jana thinking as we drove away from the reception that I was just about there. That I knew her as well as I knew myself. That there wasn’t much (though still some very important things) to discover. And then I woke up the next morning and realized that I was an idiot.
The next few days were a blur, and I remember having this amazingly exciting feeling one morning at breakfast that as well as I thought I knew my fiance, I had only begun to scratch the surface of knowing my wife. And I realized that until death parts us, I had signed up for classes at the school of Jana. I was to be a student of my wife, every day moving deeper and deeper in intimacy and knowledge of her.
See it? The more isn’t that there is someone new. Someone else. It’s not a journey to a different place; it’s a journey to a deeper place. Discovering what’s already there. Knowing deeply what’s already mine.
And the riches of what’s already ours in Christ are inexhaustible.