The other week while I was praying, I realized something. I was praying that God would change me from within, to work in my heart, to help me to believe, to help me see him rightly, to reveal himself to me, and to let me know him more deeply in a real way. The reason I was praying for these things is because those have to happen for me to choose Christ instead of sin. So far so good, right? No.
Although these are ‘right’ things to be praying for – why was I praying them? I was asking for these things to help me not sin. I do want them, but why? I realized my end goal was not really God, nor knowing God more. I was asking for that, but with the end goal of not sinning as much. Essentially, I was wanting to not sin more than I was wanting God. Getting God was a method to reduce my sinning, so I’d feel better about myself.
The same can be said when we seek ‘rest’, ‘security’, ‘beauty’, or ‘significance’. It is true that these are fully found in Christ, just as Christ frees us from slavery to sin. Too often though I see and approach God as a means to an end. I am desiring the above things, rather than Him, and try to use Him to get them. Yet God does not hand out these things. They are not outside of Christ. Christ is beauty. Christ is rest. Christ is security. They are really found in Christ, by seeking and wanting Him. Because of who God is, the more I know Christ and Christ alone, by His grace, I will experience the above things, because I am experiencing Him. Praise God that he is a god that meets our deepest longings in Himself, and only in himself.
Christ also has to be the means to the end – Himself. It is only because of Christ’s work on the Cross that we are able to seek and to know God the Father. He is our mediator. He not only provided a way, but He is the way.