Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Seek!

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

What does this mean, with ALL your heart? We see a lot of verses like this throughout the Old Testament and the New, but what is God asking for here? I mean doesn’t God know we are busy, doesn’t he know we have responsibilities, jobs to go to, kids to raise, errands to run? How do we even do this seeking with all our hearts stuff, and if I do that who will go to work, who will raise my kids, who will run my errands if I give all my time to “Seeking”
I mean come on lets be realistic here, I can’t make time for that kind of a commitment can I? He knows I have a lot going on and will understand that I just don’t have time to read or pray like I should right?........Right?

Remember when you first met your spouse and fell in love? You couldn’t get enough of that person; you had conversations into the wee hours of the morning getting to know one another. You thought about that person all day when you were at work, when you were running errands, apart of you was always thinking about when you might see that person again, where you might go and what you might do, and you could hardly wait. As you spent time in that relationship getting to know that other person the relationship deepened more and more. The commitment deepened also. The level of attachment grew and this person became a fixture in your life.
 After being in that relationship you find that you have changed because of it, you look back and the person you are now has been changed from the person you were then because of this relationship, this other person has had an affect on who you are, the decisions you make, and ultimately the life you live.

I would like to propose a hypothetical situation.
Let’s say we fall in love with this person and after a very short time they grow busier and busier until your really not even speaking to this person very often and spending any real time with them has been relegated to maybe one day a week, and even that day is sometimes skipped. When this person does make some time its brief and superficial, they have a lot of really good reasons for just not having the time, they tell you their sorry and they will make time in the future when they are not so busy, but they can’t tell you when that will be. What would we be left to think?

What are we leaving the Lord to think?

We have all had people in our lives, whether it’s a family member, coworker, or a friend of a friend that we’ve known superficially. Maybe we run into them once a week or every couple weeks while around other closer friends or just in passing. We’ve gathered some bits and pieces of information together over some months or years but never really gotten to know them. We may have put some assumptions together or even made some judgments of them based on second hand information or just brief encounters. Its not that we don’t like this person it’s just we have never had or taken the time or the interest to really get to know them until one day we do and we find that this fictional caricature we’ve put together in our minds was always way off from who this person really is. 

I am afraid these types of relationships occur with God far more often than we would like to admit to ourselves or to other people. I am also fearful for the people that don’t recognize they are doing it.


We attend Church weekly, we pray occasionally, and we read his Word even less.
Maybe at some point we committed to the Lord, and that experience was real, our commitment was real, but then over time the Lord has become just another thing we wish we had more time for.

Maybe we have never really had or known how to have a deep relationship with Jesus. Maybe he has always just been the reason for the friends we have or the place we go once a week. From the family we have grown up in, or from our friends we have learned some bits of information over the years, enough we think, to know who he is as much as anyone else can. It’s possible we have just never been in a place in our lives where we desperately needed God or at least felt that we did.

Some of us have convinced ourselves that an arms length, cold, superficial relationship with the Lord is enough to get us into Heaven so that’s good enough for us. Others of us have rationalized that what we are doing is more than what some others do therefore it is enough, after all you only need to believe right?...right?

Still others are under the illusion that we have time, plenty of time, we look to some future date, maybe our retirement or after the kids are raised and say to ourselves I will do it then!
 When I read the testimonies in the New Testament and I see what Jesus Christ himself has to say to those that are holding something back or have something they need to go do before following him. His answers to an attitude like that are clear. I don’t always like them but subtle they are not, the Lord doesn’t do subtle. Jesus doesn’t want to be our acquaintance. Jesus doesn’t want to wait till we have time.

I spent years with an unreal caricature of God in my mind and I was miserable because of it, my life was very empty, my soul was starving for nourishment. Christ really is the bread of life just as he says; he can give us spiritual food that transcends any nourishment we can find here on earth. But we don’t get that nourishment from osmosis, we need to do something, Jesus demands action on our parts.

The word Seek in all its forms appears in the Bible roughly three hundred and nine times.

The definitions of the word seek in the Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us the word “seek” means to search after or try to get.

Getting to know Christ has been, for me, a lot like falling in love but much much more. He was this figure in a book that I hardly read, he was the topic of discussion at my Church or in certain circles of friends, I mentioned him at the end of my prayers, then I volunteered for a prison ministry called Kairos and I watched the invisible hand of Christ change hardened convicts into love filled men on fire for the Lord in just days. It changed me also. I think for me and other people also, we can say we believe something with our mind and mouth but not really make that full connection of belief in our hearts and souls, or we can have that and grow cold due to inactivity.

Seeing the power of the living God make new creations of people right in front my eyes made the reality of God’s existence a tangible thing. We are such physical beings we need to see things, touch and feel things to know or be reminded that he is present, that he is alive, and that he wants a relationship with us. When we are walking other people into belief in Christ we are again walking ourselves there as well, in giving it away we get to keep what we have, we fan the flame of desire for the Lord and we are seeking him and finding him all over again.

We don’t all need to volunteer for Kairos to feel this; we can all be doing activities that are leading people to Christ, there are opportunities all around us. As Christians we have all been called to ministry, we just need to find out what ours is and do it. I have never felt closer to Christ than when I am watching someone else be changed by him, heart, mind and soul.

As I was saying, when we first fell in love with our spouses we had long drawn out conversations, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. Weren’t we searching this person out, finding all there likes and dislikes and all they had been through? We wanted to know all we could know about them. This is what the Bible, Old Testament and New, calls us as believers to do with God. We can get to know him through his Word, feel his presence through our prayer, and watch him work in others.  

When we put action, reading, and prayer together we’ve got seeking, when we seek we fan the flame of desire for the Lord. We get to know him more and more, but unlike falling in the love with another human, the getting to know him never ends because his depth, unlike ours, is limitless. We will begin to think on eternal terms rather than worldly terms. 
The Lord doesn’t ask us to seek him for his benefit, but for ours.
We were created to be in relationship with him, that relationship was an easy one to have until the fall and sin entered the world. Now we must strive to stay in contact with him, this is why Paul compares it to a race we are running, he is saying it takes diligent action and consistency to stay on this course, but man what an awesome course it is! 



The Lord says in John 14:15 “If you love me keep my commands.”
The hard truth that Christ tells us throughout the Gospels is that Love is action. If we don’t seek him, we can’t know him, if we don’t know him, how can we truly love him? We can’t, and if we don’t truly love him how will we follow his commands?
We won’t.


But if we seek him we will fall in love with him in a deep and real way, heart, mind, and soul, then following his commands will not only come easier  but will be something we are also seeking and striving for.