This excerpt is from John's new book Get Your Life Back, available Tuesday. When you pre-order the book, you'll receive several free gifts — including the first few chapters and a one-hour video teaching from John about everyday practices for your soul in a world gone mad. After you pre-order, go to JohnEldredge.com and fill out the form to receive these gifts.
The Search is for more of God in our lives as a growing, operational reality. There are a few critical things to believe in order to make this search go well. First off, we must be confident that God wants to give us more of himself. (Do you believe that? What are your current convictions about God wanting to give you himself?) The erosion of our soul by the world and the off-and-on experience most people have in the pursuit of God will, over time, sow seeds of doubt in our hearts that God really does want to give us himself. So let’s listen to his desires and promises on the matter:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:9–13)
And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! (John 3:34 THE MESSAGE)
As we are asking God for a greater measure of his presence in us, we choose to ask confidently, believing that he wants to. This will help quite a bit.
Second, we chose to believe Christ is already within us, and we remind ourselves of this marvel. The springs of life well up from within. You’re not looking for God to fall on you from above; you look for the upwelling of God from inside your own being! The French writer Jeanne Guyon really helped me understand this paradigm shift:
Your way to God begins on the day of your conversion, for conversion marks your soul’s initial return to God ... to find the God who has newly come to reside at the center of your being. Your spirit instructs your soul that, since God is more present deep within you ... He must be sought within. And He must be enjoyed there. ... Therefore, from the very beginning you find great joy in knowing that your Lord is within you and that you can find Him and enjoy Him in your inmost being. (Union with God by Jeanne Guyon)