'Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked. The whole outfit.' C.S.Lewis – Mere Christianity
Earlier on in the year I gave my testimony at a couple of events and I used this quote to emphasise the point that there was a gap of about 6 months from when I believed that God existed and when I gave my life to follow that God; the triune God, Father, Son and Spirit. It took me 6 months to realise that God wanted everything of me, not just bits of me here and there, but everything. It was after realising this that I first prayed that I was going to give my life to serve God. Even though I have prayed that, I can safely say that over the past 3 years I have not given God everything that I have. Malachi 1:6-14 is a passage that springs to mind as God is talking to the priests of that era angry that they are not giving the best of what they have. That is just as applicable now as it was then!
It seems that when we want to give the best of what we've got it is always to the person or people we love or want to be loved by. That for me is quite often my friends or girlfriend, what is it for you? I've noticed that for me it is not always Jesus. So part of the reason why I am writing this is to work out how to love Jesus with my whole being, how to desire him more. As he first loved us with his amazing grace, so it should be our natural instinct to love him back!
So how do I love Jesus more? Trying harder? Going to more church events? No, it can't be that. That is essentially what the Pharisees did and they weren't in Jesus' good book! I think it is to desire God more; to desire God on a level with the psalmists (Psalm 42:1-2, 63:1,27:4 to name a few). Another example of desiring God is Mary in Luke 10:38-42. Mary is going against the culture of the time and is just sitting there soaking in all that Jesus has to say rather than serving him, unlike her sister Martha.
So what is desiring God more going to look like for me? I think it will be me wanting to study and meditate on scripture more. Not merely desiring scripture itself and knowledge of scripture but desiring the one who wrote the scripture, who gifted us the bible to know more about him (read my previous blog on 'Studying the bible' to get some thoughts on that). I don't want this to become a legalistic endeavor of collecting knowledge but an endeavor of wanting to know the God who desires my heart and my all. I'll keep you updated on how this is going for me and I'd love to hear how you are doing with it.
Blog post by Lawrence Hutton
Lawrence is on the student team at St Michael le Belfrey and became a Christian while he was a student in York.