I am all for spiritual experiences but theologically the truth is that we already have all we need. The apostle Paul once wrote a letter to some people living in the city of Corinth who were always after MORE (especially supernatural experiences!) and said, “Everything belongs to you!” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). All we need is already ours - right now, not one day in the future. In the same way, Jesus placed the words, "Everything I have is yours", in the mouth of the father speaking to his oldest son who had failed to embrace the concept of underserved grace (Luke 15:31). We don’t need more of God, we just need to enjoy and experience what we already have available to us through his extravagant generosity.
Silly Prayers I've Prayed
Years ago I would find myself saying familiar prayers such as, "Jesus, please be with us today." What's funny about that is that some of Jesus' last words spoken on earth were, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). So the truth is he is already with me and has promised to be with me until the world ends, which it hasn't yet. So it's actually silly to ask him to do what he is already doing! A better prayer is, "Jesus, thank you that you are with me today."
Another prayer I often said while leading church meetings was, "Isn't it good to be in God's presence today." The obvious question is, "Where were we yesterday?" Does God live in the church building waiting and hoping we will come and visit him every week!? Of course not, God is 'omni-present'. He is everywhere at once. There is no where you can go where he is not already there. We don't lack God's presence or need more of it. What we lack is awareness. We need to wake up to the reality that God is with us all the time.
We also don't need MORE of God's love. What we need to do is accept and experience the great love he already has for us.
The old legalistic, religious, rules-based mode of living is all about 'DO and LIVE'. If you do the right thing, be a good person, try to keep all the rules, then God will love you and bless you. The new grace-based way of living is to 'LIVE and DO'. You ARE already loved - just as you are. You don't need to DO anything to earn or deserve it. Your just need to accept it and live in it. Grace like this is still amazing. What a difference that makes! We then seek to do the right thing, not in order to be loved by God but because we already are.
I still remember holding our firstborn son in my arms - Josiah. I was so excited to be a dad and as I held him I thought about how much I loved him. You could take my car or my house or my job, but don't take my boy. He was worth more than anything else to me. Then I thought about WHY I loved him. He hadn't DONE anything yet. He hadn't made a goal in a sports game, scored an 'A' on a test, or made any money. In fact, it cost us a heap of money just to get him there! I loved him NOT because he had done anything but only because he was my child - nothing else. If I as a flawed, imperfect human parent feel that about my children, how do you think God feels about you!
We also don't need MORE of God's power. The Spirit who God gives us provides us with all the power, love and wisdom we need for living each day.
2 Timothy 1:7. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (or wisdom). NIV
Like a bank account with a huge supply of resources, it’s all there ... ready for you draw upon it. Simply thank God for his provision and ask for an appropriation in your life of what has already been provided for you. All the courage, strength, wisdom and faith you need for today is already available to you. Yes, ask him for it ... but most importantly thank him for it.
Everything is yours! Enjoy it ... with great gratitude to the Gracious Giver of all good gifts.