The way people usually seek God is by mustering up a “hunger for righteousness,” and there’s nothing wrong with that. But eventually you must move beyond seeking to finding—actually believing the promises of God. Jesus said, “Ask, believing that you have already received it, and it will be yours.” In this case, you don’t stay with seeking except to decide what you want—for example, a deeper experience of God’s love for you. Once you’ve made that decision, you immediately begin believing it even if you don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s called faith.
Typically, when we pray, we present our requests to God, wording them as just that: requests. A more effective prayer for us (after all, prayer is for us) would be to state our “requests” as declarations. At first this may feel like lying, but what it really is is speaking the truth in advance. It’s heeding the words of Jesus by formalizing your new belief into words. “I am infinite Love.” If we have God’s Spirit, then this is already a true statement, even if you don’t believe it yet. And guess what! If you’re alive and breathing right now then you do have God’s Spirit! To be filled with the Spirit is to realize that you are already filled with the Spirit.
The only thing that’s in the way of our direct, knowing experience is our unbelief. Unbelief, by the way, is not simply a binary status as in “you either believe or you don’t believe.” No, faith and unbelief are as complex as our very psyches. “Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief.” At a certain conscious level, we do believe that God lives within us. But at other deeper levels or barely-hidden levels, we don’t believe. And this is the only thing that stops up that flow of expression. It is not that God withdraws from us. We would cease to exist if He did, for He is the one “in whom we live and move and have our being.” It’s that we blind ourselves to who God is and who we are as divine emanations of God.
Spiritual growth is thus largely a matter of finding those pockets of darkness within ourselves and shining the light of God’s presence on each one. In so doing, we progressively reveal to ourselves and each other who we truly are: expressions of God’s infinite Love.