Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to become a great man or woman, but seeking great gifts from God? God wants your relationship with him to be closer than a relationship based on receiving his gifts. He wants you to get to know him. Nothing is easier than getting into a right relationship with God, except when you’re only looking for what you can get out of it.

If, in your walk in faith, you’ve only come as far as asking God for blessings, you haven’t begun to approach full abandonment to him. You’ve become a Christian, but you’ve become one on your own terms rather than his. “I asked God for the Holy Spirit,” you say, “but he did not give me the peace I expected.” God puts his finger on the reason at once: you aren’t seeking him at all; you’re seeking things for yourself.

Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Luke 11:9). You cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. Are you asking God for the great gift of the Holy Spirit? If he has not given it, it is because you are not abandoned enough: there is still something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what you want from God and why you want it? “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why ask? So that you may get to know him. When you draw near to God, you will stop asking for anything other than him.

God ignores present perfection for ultimate perfection. He isn’t concerned about making you blessed and happy right now. He is working out his ultimate perfection: “That they may be one as we are one” (John 17:11).

Wisdom from Oswald

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God.  Not Knowing Whither, 903 R