“In those moments when we thirst for the presence of God, we’re usually not looking for an intellectual knowledge of God’s presence. We’re asking for a manifestation of His presence in our lives. . . . Though we intellectually understand that the Christian life is a life of faith, our heart’s desire is to live by sight and not by faith. We want to be sure of this God we’ve never seen.”- Lina AbuJamra
“Philip said, ‘Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?’ “- John 4:8-9 (NIV)
In Chapter 7 (“Why Can’t I Feel More of God in My Life?”) of Fractured Faith, Lina AbuJamra probes what stands in the way of our ability to experience God more fully. Thus, Lina asks, what happens when:
- the tears don’t come?
- all you feel is the ache of the burden you’re carrying?
- your soul becomes numb?
Much like Philip, Lina points out, we yearn for what we already possess. Yet, in this normal Christian life, we miss the obvious. Because God’s already given us His full presence. The moment we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, received Him into our hearts.
Therefore, Lina underscores:
“Whenever we long for more, we must slow down and figure out what we’re longing for more of. It’s not our longing for more of God that leads us away from God, it’s our longings for more from God that deconstruct our faith.” (emphasis Lina’s)
In an effort to pursue God’s power, Simon the sorcerer missed the truth about Christianity. Hence, Lina counsels us, remember that Christianity isn’t the pursuit of God’s abilities or power for ourselves. Rather, the Christian faith involves the pursuit of God Himself. Thus, God works on our behalf through His power. He’s truly the breakthrough He created our souls to long for.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you grow beyond just an intellectual knowledge of God’s presence? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Christian rhythm – the goal”