Seek and Find
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
I have attempted to use this passage as leverage against God to insist that He has promised to grant my every wish. In doing so, I missed what is one of the most important spiritual principles in the bible. God desires for me to seek him and he rewards me in measure with my seeking. It is only in seeking God that I know him and I will know him only as much as I seek him.
I can have a little God in me or I can have a lot. He is constantly speaking to me, but in his wisdom, He allows me to pursue my flesh life or my spirit life. Whichever one I pursue is the one I will find. If I continually pursue self, I will find destruction. If I seek God however, I will find him.
The reality is, I am full of God or I am full of me. If I do not fill myself with God, self naturally fills the void. I am constantly pursuing something. If I do not daily choose to follow God, I inherently follow me. For some, this is not so obviously destructive. For me however, if I do not pursue God daily, I pursue my flesh life, which leads inevitably to massive destruction.
The problem is that I often only want enough God to be saved from destruction but not enough God to upset my life too much. So, I only pursue God as much as I deem necessary. I do not want him invading all of my life, changing everything. So, I hold back and I do not truly pursue God, I just want a nip and tuck of my defects as I see fit. I want self-improvement, but I do not really want to get too radical.
To this half-hearted seeking, I think God responds in kind. When I hold back on pursuing God, He allows me to feel distant from him. So, when I find that I feel God is distant, I need to realize it is not God holding back. It is me. God of course has moved heaven and earth to reach me, but in practice, I need to pursue him.
If I feel that I am pursuing but still find that God seems distant, I need to be radically honest about that which I am seeking. Am I holding out on God? Am I insisting on hanging onto just one part of self? I need to be willing to radically abandon me if I truly want God. I will be continually frustrated with my results if I continually insist on hanging onto destructive defects. I cannot simultaneously pursue God and pornography, anger, pride, bitterness, money, or self.
If I pursue self, I will have my just reward. If, however, I pursue God, He promises that I will find him.