In this series on ‘abiding,’ each post will be framed as an email correspondence to a friend who is seeking to get ‘more’ out of his or her faith. My hope is that by exploring this topic as a conversation, you will resonate with the message as deeply as if it were a letter addressed to you.
To: Friend Seeking More from Faith
From: Doug Nuenke
Subject: Reaching for More
Good Morning my friend,
I was reflecting this morning upon the human pursuit of a ‘full’ life. At the beginning of time, the first generation of people in our world were faced with a choice. Adam and Eve had access to God and all their needs met, but they were tempted to grab a hold of more. It is instructive to us, as you’ve pointed out – people we know, and we ourselves can make the same types of choices! They were told:
“But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” (Gen 2:16-17)
Basically, God says, “You can have it all! (or almost!) Just don’t eat from that one tree.” Then, they were tempted:
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5).
They were tempted with a desire for more. You mentioned to me in your last email, that you find yourself “trapped in a state of dissatisfaction.” I’m with you! I feel that myself in aspects of my life on a regular basis!
As we see in the story of Adam and Eve, the consequence of not enjoying their life with God was to lose it. It’s interesting how often our temptations (usually for more things connected with our Bios existence) lead to the destruction of relationships. It can also compromise our ability to enjoy relationships – especially with God, but also with others. In our pursuit for more, we can end up losing the goodness of life we already have!
The history of sin can be summed up as attempts to get more. This first temptation and first sin which fractured union with God, came through a lust for knowledge equal to God’s. Basically, Adam and Eve were trying to become equal to God – eclipsing their need for Him.
Does this sound familiar to you? It does to me. I have experienced the futility of pursuing more outside of God to eliminate my need for him. It’s a self-dependent mentality, rather than a posture of dependency on God Himself. One may provide the illusion of control, but the other is the only pathway to zoe—the fullness of life we long for. We may try to satisfy our own needs, only to find that after futile attempts to reach for more —our ultimate source of satisfaction has been here all along.
Until we chat again, I might suggest you reflect on the pursuits of ‘more’ in your life. Is there a need at the root of this dissatisfaction— to be seen, known, and loved? If there is, the answer may not lie in acquisition of a thing, but in engagement with a Person.
Until next time,