“To just read the Bible, attend church, and avoid “big” sins—is this passionate, wholehearted love for God? —François Fénelon, The Seeking Heart
In the movie based on the Charles Dickens novel, 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist falls in with a group of street-urchin pickpockets led by the Artful Dodger and masterminded by the criminal Fagin. One of the famous scenes from the movie is Oliver, desperate from hunger, rises from the table, walks up to the master, bowl and spoon in hand and says “please, sir, I want some more.”
People say it all the time: I want to want God more. I want more of Him, I don’t ever want to feel I have “enough God.” “I’m just not sure how to go about getting more than I already have.” The how can be different for different people, but one thing is sure; we will never get more of God by sitting still and hoping spiritual growth will come to us. It requires action. Wanting more of God is a purposeful pursuit. We don’t need to pray about doing something that God mandates in the Bible: love, serve, go. He’s already made it clear: yes, a follower of Jesus should be doing that. But what about the times when things aren’t going very well. Should we want more of God then? The answer is still yes.
Wait a second: What about the times we have struggled through “dark valleys”—times of trial and grief? Trials knock us down and surround us. We toss and turn at night, wondering what we are going to do. It starts to feel like we’re Oliver who got smacked in the side of the head with a ladle when he asked for more gruel. It is in these times when we need more; more faith, more trust, more of a relationship with God.
Isaiah 43: 2-3 says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
We want more of God and more of His transformative work in our lives. We want more God when our faith and trust in God is stretched and grows stronger during trials. If we want to find God, that’s where God will be. The fact is we can see God in our trials. We can move closer and closer to God in our trials. We should want more of God in trials. We should hunger for more of Him.
- Identify your biggest trial right now and consider this question: How can this help me find more of God?
- What are some steps to have more of God in our lives?