It is a regular occurrence in our house for Little Man to ask for more as soon as he gets just a little bit of something. I’ll put a few carrots on his plate. “More carrots,” he asks, without even touching the ones I’ve just given him. It may take a few repetitions of, “If you eat what I’ve given you, I’ll give you more,” before he finally takes a bite of what he has. Then once he’s done and I’ve given him more food, I often once again hear, “more,” and the process starts again.
He really has no reason to assume that I’m not going to give him more, but he asks anyway. I’m going to make sure he’s fed. I have in the past and I’m not going to stop now. I love my son and I’m not going to refuse to give him what he needs. Now, he may not need more carrots once he’s eaten enough, but I will give him whatever food he needs.
During one of these exchanges, God brought my mind to Himself and how I talk to Him. How many times do I ask Him for “more, more, more” of something when I don’t really need it, when I haven’t touched what He’s already given me?
There are so many areas of life where we tend to ask God for more, like our finances, our talents, our time and energy.
We ask God for more, more money so we can have the things we want (whether it’s a new phone or a bigger emergency fund or matching furniture). We know we don’t need them, but we see the benefit they could have in our lives, so we think about them over and over until our focus shifts from, “How can I use my finances to serve God’s kingdom?” to, “How can our family bring in more money so we can start checking things off our wish list?”
Our talents and areas of service is also another way we can desire something more or something other than what he’s given us.
I’ve always loved to sing. I’ve had dreams of singing alongside Celine Dion, belting out a duet together. But… that’s not the exact gifting I have (just ask my family). I may have a love for singing, but my voice is not of the caliber needed to lead out on stage. Yes, I will praise God with my singing, but it’s not the particular way He has called me to minister to others.
He’s asked me to write, though, to speak to others through the written word. And while I may not be the most talented writer, I sure do write better than I sing.
I think of all the times I’ve told God, “I’ll use my voice to praise you if you will just give me more talent.” And now I’m realizing all the times He’s told me, “I’ve already given you what you need to praise me; you just have to use it.” How many times was I not listening to Him? How long did it take for me to finally understand this concept? Way too long.
This concept of desiring “more” struck me again as the Bible study I’m a part of covered the last half of Matthew 6 last week. Matthew 6:24-33 says:
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can not serve God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
When our eyes are on all the things we want more of, be it money or something else, our eyes are not fixed on Christ. When this happens, we begin to serve our desires rather than our Lord. And nothing that we pursue can bring us fulfillment except for Christ.
Often that’s what we are doing when we are asking for more of something: we are finding our hope and security in what we possess rather than in knowing that God knows our true needs.
We do this with our finances when we ask God for more money when we aren’t giving back to Him what He’s already given us. We do this with our talents when wish we had someone else’s gifting when we aren’t serving Him with the one we’ve been given. We do this with our time when we complain that we just can’t fit in time to read His Word and pray… but we waste so much of our time watching television, on our phones, or in other fruitless pursuits.
So what do I need to do?
When I am tempted to seek after more, or after anything other than Christ, I should take time to pause, consider what I have, what He’s given me, and look at what I’m doing with it.
Am I using my money like He’s directed me to? Am I praising Him with my talents? Am I spending my time seeking after things of this world or after His Kingdom?
Then I pour myself into doing as Matthew 6:33 says, seeking first the kingdom of God.