Seeking the Giver of Gifts or Just his Gifts

Dear Friends,

I confess there are times when I can get caught up and focused on asking God for things rather than focusing on him.

There is nothing wrong in asking God for something, in fact he encourages us to come to him with our requests.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV) But there is something wrong when we make our entire relationship with him all about what he can do for us and what he can give us, as if he's some kind of magic genie, here to grant us our every wish, or like Father Christmas waiting for us to give him our list of things we would like.

We may be coming to God with requests which are good and right but if that is all our communications consist of, then I believe our relationship is far from what it could and should be.

When I think about my relationship with my children, if they only came to me when they wanted something from me I would be hurt.  I want our relationship to be so much more than this.  I like that they can seek me out just to tell me about something funny that happened during the day.  I like it when we can spend time together as a family, playing a game, or going to the beach or having a holiday.

As their Mum I still want them to come to me when they need something.  I don't want them to think they have to go elsewhere.  After all, I have their best interests at heart.  I like to know what's on their hearts and minds, what hopes and dreams they have.  I want to be able to encourage them to pursue their goals.

I believe God is the same.  He wants a relationship with me and you which is more than just about what I can get from him.  He wants me to seek him for himself, to enjoy a relationship with him, to get to know him.  I can still share things with him, he does want to know what's on my heart and mind. He always has my best interests at heart.  "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)  We have this wonderful promise from God in Jeremiah 29:13  "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (NIV)

Has there been a time in your relationship with God when your focus has been all about him doing something for you?  Perhaps it's been about your health, your finances, your employment, your home life, your relationships, your ministry.  There is nothing wrong in these things themselves.  But has this become all you think about?  Has your whole attention been on this rather than on the Giver of gifts himself?

May he possibly be saying to you as he's been saying to me, "Don't let this one thing you are pursuing mean more to you than a relationship with Me.  There is so much more that I long to reveal to you of Myself.  There is so much more of Me for you to know.  Pursue Me first and foremost.  Discover a life that is full and satisfying.  One that can only be found in Me."

What if God never granted me the request I've brought before him?  That thing I've sought after for so long.  What if he does not grant your request?  What if he's saying "I'm enough, let Me be enough for you."  What would I do? What would you do?  Would I give up on God because he's not given me what I've asked for?  Or would I keep trusting in God?  "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you." Psalm 9:10 (NLT)  Will I keep loving him?  Will I choose to believe He is still good, "Only God is truly good." Mark 10:18 (NLT) and believe he still loves me even when his answer is no? God says, "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)   Will I, will you, choose to say "I want you, God, more than I want anything else."  Will we choose to find satisfaction in him rather than looking for it in something else? 

Can you and I say with David, "O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!" Psalm 63 (NLT)

To Think About:
Has there been a time in your life when you have become more focused on gifts from the Giver rather than the Giver himself?

What difference would it make to your life if you were to seek to know God more?  To long for more of him rather than more from him?

Do you choose to still love and trust him whatever his answer to your requests is?



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