When I was in college I noticed a gorgeous young lady sitting by herself in the cafeteria. I was immediately intrigued and drawn to this tall, slender beauty. I sat down across from her, introduced myself and two and a half years later we were married.
If that was the extent of my courting Wendy I would have a very shallow and immature relationship with her. Imagine if my only focus and appreciation for my wife was on what an amazingly beautiful lady she is. I would be missing so much, and she and I both would be frustrated in our relationship.
That is a picture of the sort of relationship many people have with God.
Phil Webb has been a missionary to Columbia who counsels pastors and ministry leaders who are struggling in their relationship with God. Often these people are leading churches or ministries that are very successful, but they are discouraged in their own hearts, teetering on burnout. The first thing he asks them is what initially drew them to Jesus. Was it forgiveness of sin, or the promise of heaven, or Jesus’ love or some other aspect of God’s nature or character? Almost invariably he finds that whatever that initial draw was remains the primary focus in their relationship with God.
This doesn’t only happen with the first thing that drew us. At any point in our lives we can come to an insight on some feature of who God is or what he has done and be so enraptured by it that we stay there, rather than building on it and continuing to mature in our relationship with him.
This isn’t to say that whatever point you are at is false, or unimportant, or shouldn’t be appreciated. I am still amazed and very appreciative of how stunningly gorgeous Wendy is. In fact I appreciate it more today than I ever have because in my eyes all of the other wonderful things I have come to know about her nature and personality enhance her outward beauty.
God longs to have a mature relationship with each of us. If we cling to and fixate only on what we already know of God our relationship with him will stagnate and we will become frustrated and worn out, maybe complacent and maybe even apathetic in our walk with him. Spend some time this week with your Bible just listening to God. You may be surprised at how much more there is to discover.