Recently I spent some time with a man whose heart is longing for more of God. Some people cringe at the phrase “more of God” but I have no issues with using it. When someone says that they desire more of God, they are expressing their desire for deeper experience with Him. They want to interact with the God they believe in. The psalmist equated this inner hunger to the panting deer drinking from the flowing brook. That deer feels as if it will die if there is not and immediate and full intake of the water. That’s what it means to long for more of God. If I had time or space, I could easily give multiple examples in the Bible where this more of God ache is communicated. If you care to know, I arise every day with this very desire pulsing through my veins. Graciously, God has made my relationship with Him a full-contact fellowship. It is not that I simply believe in Him, I experience Him. I love those times when I KNOW He is working in my midst, moving in me, around me, through me and for me. I cannot think of anything that satisfies me more than this. The man I met with has also had many encounters with the Lord, but those encounters only left him with the ache for more…for more of God.
“Let Your work be shown to your servants, and Your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! – Psalm 90:16-17
Did you get what the psalmist was requesting from God? He boldly asked God to visibly manifest His activity. He asks the Almighty to show His work to those in covenant with Him. There was something inside of this ancient songwriter that longed to see with His eyes a response from God to what he was writing. Do not forget that every Psalm you read was once a song sung by the collective followers of God in those days. Can you picture a multitude of voices singing this plea for God to show Himself to them? Beyond that first request, the second request is stronger and more specific. He asks of God to undeniably reveal His glorious power, not only to him, but to his generation’s children. He is saying, in effect, “Lord, show off in such a way that our children are convinced of your glorious worth!” I love this. The Psalmist was not content to merely experience a personal encounter with God that manifested His presence. No, He was unselfish, and he unflinchingly asked God to blow the minds of the youth who were alive at that time. It is beautiful when older believers are convinced that, if the next generation could experience the presence and power of God, those young people will begin to long for Him to manifest Himself in their own generation. The psalmist was convinced that each generation needs interactive experience with the God to whom they have surrendered their souls. He wants us to be more than theologically convinced that He is. He likes to reward those who diligently seek Him, those who cannot live much longer without personally intersecting the God of the Bible.
Verse seventeen above gets more interesting for me because the inspired songwriter asks God to powerfully bless the work he desires to do for God. He asks for favor from the Lord. When he makes this request of God, he is asking God to be gracious, kind and pleasing to His people. We might phrase it as “Lord, let it be pleasing to You to accomplish what I am about to ask.” So, then, what is he going to specifically ask for? He wants God to give longevity to all that they seek to accomplish for Him, to bless the works of their hands. He asks for this twice. Speaking on behalf of Israel, the psalmist says that their hands are ready to work, and they need Yahweh to ensure that the work is prospered in the present and protected for the future. I love this! I’m a type-A guy who loves action. I love to begin a work for God, stay faithfully engaged with it, and see it all the way through completion. I think the psalmist desires the same thing here. He knows that all of Israel’s endeavors will be in vain if the Lord doesn’t put a favorable touch on it. He invites his God in as the sovereign superintendent of all that he aims to do. I am so motivated by his holy boldness in prayer as he cries out to God with a deep longing for God to approve and affirm all that is done for His glory. He did not shuffle his feet, stuff his hands in his pockets and sheepishly say, “Whatever you want, God – I’m fine with whatever.” No, the words above are the words of a son, not a slave. A son can ask a good father anything he desires without fear. He may not get it all, but he is welcomed to ask it all. When our lives are set for the glory of Jesus, we should learn to pray the same way: precisely, boldly, expectantly and hungrily.
So, when my friend and others like him declare that they want more of God, I think they are on good ground. Really, who doesn’t want more of God? Some may protest and say that we already have all of God so, theologically speaking, we cannot have more of Him. Well, the Apostle Paul commands us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). If we have all that we will ever have of God, why then are we commanded to be filled on an ongoing basis? You see, Paul understood the reality that there is an ebb and flow attached to the Christian life. A thing can only be filled and refilled if there is a certain amount of unused, empty capacity. All of us can experience more of God. It is a relationship we are talking about here, not some theological formula. I legally have all of Amy Lyle as my wife, and have had her since 1997. She has had all of me for that same time period. Yet, if you ask her and me, we will both tell you that we have more of each other now in experience than we did on the day we were legally married to one another. We are more intertwined. We live in more of a oneness. We intimately know one another in every aspect of relationship. This is what happens when we cry out to God for more of Him. Intimacy grows. Love deepens. Trust is built. Power is imparted. Awe abides. Expectation of more surges. This is what you and I really want. It cannot be satisfied intellectually. It is the cry of our captivated hearts to the One who has become everything to us.
So, cry out with me to our God, “More of You, Father! More of You Jesus! More of You, Holy Spirit!”
Keep crying out this same thing.
Then do it again.
He will not leave you unanswered. He wants more of you too.
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