Why aren't more Christians hungry to know God?

Hello

I was hoping for others reflection on this subject and to learn from others own experiences. It is something that is of interest for me to try and understand more about why so many Christians don’t seem to have real desire for wanting to know God more in a relational context. Many Christians have great knowledge of the Word and theology, but not necessarily any intimacy or loving desire for closeness with our God. In my personal experience I have many times asked long-term Christians a question like “so what has God been doing or how have you seen God working in your life this week”. The response I normally get is a blank look with many people not seeming to even understand the question. My thought is that for many people, Christianity can become very quickly about what we ‘do’ for God and whether we are doing good things for Him. You do get the other reasons for not spending time with God like busyness and family, but even then, if they were to spend time with God it would be in achieving something to do about God like reading the Bible for 20 minutes or praying for a while, but not actually a consuming desire to just want to be with Him because you love Him.

So that is a long musing I know, but what are some ways in which you have seen people develop a passion for intimate knowledge of God, as well as ways that this can also be developed and grown in a world that would look to distract our gaze?

Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Brian_Upsher, thank you for your question. I remember a time when I didn’t spend what would be deemed “quality” time with the Lord. I probably would have been one of those people who gave you a blank look. I went to Church, Bible study, sang in the choir and atended every revival. I loved all this but there was still something missing.
God begins a work in every individual who calls on His name and excepts Christ as their Savior.
”being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6
Everyone’s journey is different and since we don’t know the heart we can’t know what God is doing there.
I think it is good that you ask them the question since it may get them thinking :thinking: As long as the question and any interaction you have with them is shrouded in grace, not being judgemental :slightly_smiling_face:
It might just be that God is using you to “ignite the spark.” From there, maybe this will create a desire in them to draw closer to God.
I now cherish my time with God. When I skip it, I realize very quickly in the day that I “missed out” by not spending that time with the Lord.

As for as what “sparked” my desire? For me, it was after I had messed up royally. I fell on my face before the Lord in deep remorse. It was from there that God began to “ weave through the chaos.”
We have a beautiful “Grand Weaver” (to borrow a phrase from Ravi):heart: I hope this will be helpful to you in some way :pray:t3:

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Hi @Brian_Upsher!

I find your question hits close to the heart of a lot of Christians. I am sure all of us are challenged in the area of spending quality time with the Lord and being aware of his working in our lives.

I think one way to combat that is to do exactly what you are doing! Having these conversations with people in a loving and encouraging way. I think the biggest impact you can have is to simply share what God is doing in your life and sharing your relationship with God with others. This might inspire some to dive more deeply.

Like Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And another less profound thought from the world of sales. “You have to be red hot for them to be lukewarm.” Sometimes people need a little inspiration to jostle them out of a place of complacency. This is why it is so important to have a community of fellow believers around us to keep us inspired and seeking God. We help others knowing one day we will be in need of help ourselves, keeping in mind the times we have been helped in the past. Stay humble.

Keep doing the Lord’s work.

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Good morning Brian, that question while utterly important is very perplexing to mankind. The answer is as unique as the 7-8 billion people in the world. I would like to know myself why some fall deeply in love with Jesus and some have a casual now I lay me down to sleep relationship with Him? I know that we all process things differently but He is the same and never changes. There are other times when our trust level or lack there of is transfered to Jesus or Father though we read He is totally trustworthy. Over my short Christian life I have talked with many new believers.
Let me sidestep a moment as I just realized why I find connect so enjoyable and refreshing to me. Most if not all here have a mindset as far as I can see a solid belief that the word is the word of God not mans word but truly infallible.
Sorry for that rabbit trail, so back to those new believers who truly are saved and genuinely fall in love with Jesus. They begin to avidly read the bible and run into a perceived contradiction in the bible. The first thing it makes them do is question? As we know any perceived lie makes us doubt the rest. I had this problem but also had patient friends that helped me to see the truth.
On that note I feel the church is lax when it comes to discipleship. They desire that you are saved but not discipled. Thinking back I heard this quote.
It is yet to be seen what can be done in a man who is fully yielded to God.

Prayer and bible study are how we know Him.
To sum this up connect shows us without a head to heart connection a struggle happens. Many people dont swallow the word hook line sinker, if they did we wouldn’t have so many different Religions. Some like this some like that but by careful study it is one complete book from cover to cover its “History” His Story to mankind. Trusting you will get my point that if we dont truly believe it we cant live it.
In Christ alone
Mike

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Hi, Brian! Thanks for the reflective prompt. This is something I have wrestled to understand as well, but mainly from my own life and distance I have felt from God. My question recently has been, ‘How do I begin to relate to God as a subject and not an object?’.

So here are a couple of thoughts from my own experience…

How one relates to God usually parallels what we believe about one’s self in relation to The Other (whether that’s God or another human being).

  • Some may believe that God isn’t all that interested in having a personal relationship with them…just a business one. (God is indifferent…unless you’re worthy enough?)
  • Some may believe that God is too dangerous to come close to. (fear of obliteration?)
  • Some may recoil at the idea of being known by God. (fear of rejection?)
  • Some may just never have been taught how to relate to God.

Or, if you’re like me, you’ve experienced all these things. :slight_smile:

As @sig mentioned, everyone’s journey is different, and these beliefs could stem from a myriad of factors. If I’m working pastorally with someone, then I’d be curious to know first what God looks like to them, and how they’ve experienced Him (or Her or It).

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Thank you so much @sig, @Joshua_Hansen, @mgaplus4 and @KMac for taking the time and thought to consider my question :blush:. It is something that has interested me more in recent months to be able to see greater transformation in God’s people. In my personal life I think I follow similarly to your own story and reflection Sig. I had been going to church and involved with leadership and discipleship in various capacities, and had a deep desire to want to serve God more but an incapability of actually doing it. The trouble is that I had too many idols in my life, but fortunately our God is a jealous God and does not tolerate any rivals. I would do things for God but only what I wanted to do and would be comfortable doing. This is just the nature of sin that existed in my heart and which God wanted to cut out of me. So I would have gone through about a year period where I became absolutely broken and I can remember saying to God that I have no idea who I am anymore. A complete loss of identity. Then the ‘Grand Weaver’ gently and with so much kindness, did a regenerating and sanctifying work in my heart to come into union with Christ and find my identity in Him. It is a strange thing that I don’t know if others have experienced, but looking back now I can’t even recognize the old me.

I am sure others have had similar journeys but the real hunger came from brokenness first. Can people truly desire to know God without first being broken and rebuilt? How can we desire more of Him if other things (idols) are placed ahead of Him in our lives? Are we focused on making converts to Christianity and not making disciples?

Luke 14:26-27: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."

I agree with you too Kathleen that people have different perceptions on what God is like and so that if they have a false view of who God is, then that needs us to walk alongside others and help in the enlightening of God’s attributes. Really good point and not something that I have asked people- great advice :slightly_smiling_face:!

I really appreciate you all helping me reflect and looking deeper into this question.

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I would like to apologize for anyone who might have been offended by my response. I’m still learning how to express myself while keeping in mind how other’s may feel or who might take something I say the wrong way. I believe all of you guys have good motives at heart and are making really good points. Our moderators are doing a good job and act quickly as well (which helps keep this a solid community.) Thx Fam!

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You are quite welcome Brian, thank you for posting the question. I so much appreciate everyone’s insight and perspective.
God bless
Mike

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Hi @Brian_Upsher. Everyone else here has made excellent points, and I’d like to add some thoughts.

First, I like that you are trying to engage in important issues in conversations with fellow believers. Being close to God matters, and don’t stop trying to talk about it!

But I think most of us want to be closer to God, don’t always know how to make that happen, fairly regularly do a lot of the stuff we’ve been taught, but still wish there was more connection. I think it’s complicated and (as @mgaplus4 said) unique for each person. In addition we have many distractions and alternatives in our culture to seeking God.

And I think that if your question is drawing odd looks, maybe it’s just coming across wrong. As @sig mentioned, be gentle in asking. People don’t like to feel like a question is a test. Maybe lengthen the time scale, like, “Over the last few months, how has God been showing his love for you?”

My advice, yes, keep asking people about their relationship with God, but keep prayerfully refining the way you do it until you find people relax when you ask. And when something in your life is not working the way you think it should, ask other believers what they think, just as you did here. :+1:

Hope that helps!

Marty

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Wow! What a powerful observation and challenge. I love it.

Speaking from my personal history, I think that it is very easy to forget. You forget that God desires that relationship. God isn’t as visible as so many other things in our life and service to Him. You do the things that you are supposed to because you develop habits (good things) but the weakness of habit is that it is easy to turn off the brain. This is a constant struggle for me.

I have to be very deliberate about focusing on Jesus and relationship. Actually, if I am brutally honest, it is the hardest part for me. I tend to take on more than I should and make my life so full that all relationships suffer. I am not proud of that.

Thank you for the challenge reading this brought to me and the reminder that I need to walk alongside the one I am serving, not only behind him.

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