Apr12WedApril 12, 2017
“MORE!” is the most common exclamation in our house right now. You see, our toddlers are now tall enough to look through our picture window and love to watch any large or unusual vehicle which pass by. They especially love Tuesdays which features either a garbage truck and/or a recycling truck! However, as soon as the truck vanishes from their sight, they begin to yell “MORE!” They desperately want the experience to continue longer than a few seconds, but, alas, trucks move. Therefore, we all do our best to communicate to them that these trucks will return another time, but the pleading continues for a short while longer.
This family moment came to mind as I was considering Acts 3, our traditional patterns of worship during Holy Week and our current church-wide emphasis on prayer. Each one of us, I believe, desperately longs to have a profound experience with the Lord – something extraordinary and life changing. We look for it during corporate worship, quiet moments in prayer, or as we cry in desperation for the Lord to heal a relationship or disease. We desire to have a life-changing moment (like the man in Acts 3 had) which prompts us to praise God with enthusiasm.
One of the ways in which God interrupts our world and provides us with an experiential moment to bolster our faith is through answering our prayers with a “Yes.” After we’ve prayed for a job, income, health, reconciliation, safety, boldness, etc. and He provides in a specific, resolute answer, we can look at that event and say, “Yes, God is here and He is listening.”
Other ways in which people experience God’s presence include heart-gripping moment during a sermon, worship, discussion or prayer gathering. As this happens, God (through His Holy Word and Holy Spirit) undeniably jolts our spirit and we can literately feel Him at work within us. These moments are such a blessing when they occur! And they leave us longing for more!
However, we must be careful not to seek out experiences as an end to themselves. If we only seek the tangible spiritual experiences, then the experience itself will become our god. We need more than an experience. Ultimately, what we really long for is not answered prayer or emotional encounters with God – as helpful as they are. We actually long for God himself!
As you take extra time to pray this week, keep your mind focused on God and what He did through Jesus’ death and resurrection. When we seek Him first, His peace will remain as Isaiah prophesied, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3) and we won’t need to keep looking out the window for the next big event. God will be sufficient.