If you are anything like me, you have found yourself always asking for more. I want more time with my wife and kids. I want more money. I want more influence. I want more intimacy with God. I want more of His power. I want to be more committed to Him. I want to be more engaged in His mission. I want to be more like Him. I want to be more loving toward others.
I want more. And I think God wants more. I think it is a godly characteristic to want more.
Let me be clear, there is a very clear distinction between wanting more and being greedy. It is not dissimilar to the distinction between covetousness or envy and jealousy. There is also a distinction between satisfaction and contentment.
It would be wrong of me to covet or envy my wife’s time, attention, energy, and focus, but I should be jealous for my wife. I should crave more of her time, attention, energy, and focus, but I should not be greedy. If I want to get away from her then something is out of balance.
I wish my wife was always available for my needs – but to require that she is at my beck and call is wrong. On the same token, I must learn to be content when she is unavailable just as I am when she is – this does not mean I need to be satisfied with her being unavailable.
I want more of God. God wants more of me.
I know that God is available and accessible to me at every moment – but God is not at my beck and call. As I draw nearer to Him I learn that He is never distant from me, but I have become distant from Him. I withdraw from His manifest presence for many reasons – and He is jealous for me. He wants to dwell with, in, around, before, behind, and through me – He stands at the door of my heart knocking because He wants more of me.
Does God want more prayer, more devotions, more Bible reading, more money, more attendance, more service, more volunteerism, more witnessing, more church activity, more Christian behavior? Or is He looking for more of something else?
God does not envy or covet our time, energy, focus, or money. He does not covet or envy our behaviors or activities. He is jealous for us – He wants us to be with Him, and He wants to be with us. He wants more of me, not my behavior.
Surely, if we love God our behavior will reflect this. If we love God a ledger of our time and energy will demonstrate this love. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” The essence of these commandments is to love God and love others through our behaviors. But God is not wanting more behavior – He wants more of you.
He is jealous for you but is content with who you are.
I am content with the time, energy, focus, and attention that my wife gives me – but I am jealous for my wife. God is quite content with me – but He is jealous for me. So, what do I do with a God who is standing at the door of my heart knocking? Will I open the door to Him so that He can have more of me? Or do I distance myself from Him the way Adam and Eve hid themselves from Him in the garden?
God wants more. I want more. I am quieted by the contentment of His love for me, but I am dissatisfied with my love for Him.
Might I suggest that the we should love His Church as part of His command to love one another the way He loves us. The Church is the body of Christ who continues His mission in the world. The local church is the contextual expression of His Body. This means we should love the local church because Jesus loves His own body and gave Himself up for her, and He is presently sanctifying the church in order that He might present her to Himself as a radiant bride. He is jealous for His church. He wants more of the church. He is content with His bride.
As your pastor, I could use this information to try and get more behavior out of the church – but I am a firm believer that we need to address the heart and the behavior is a natural bi-product. I believe that my job is to merely remind the church that Jesus is knocking on the door or your heart. But, Jesus didn’t just say that He wants more of us. He also said that He wants us to give more of ourselves to one another. I believe that when we open the door of our heart to Him, we also open the door to His body – the church.
He wants more of you. The church wants more of you. He is jealous for you. The church is jealous for you. Are you content in the love of Christ? Are you content in the love of the church? Are you jealous for the love of Christ? Are you jealous for the love of the church? How are you giving more of yourself to Christ? How are you giving more of yourself to His body – the church?