Saturday, April 2

Seeking God: What’s In It for Christians? Part 1 of 2

Christians need to return to the doctrine of seeking God. There has developed an attitude (most likely unintentionally) that imagines that once you have been saved you no longer need to seek God. And this makes sense IF you have the notion that at the new birth you’ve found Him! Way back in 1948, A. W. Tozer wrote about this in what has become a classic book entitled “The Pursuit of God.” In the chapter “Following Hard After God” Tozer writes:

How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of ‘accepting’ Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him, we need no more seek Him.
This is perceptive. But Tozer goes on to make a point that sounds like he just wrote this yesterday! He says,

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.

I finish this quotation with a sentence he writes that wraps up this truth in dynamite: “When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God himself.”

Is it any wonder then, that complex but sweet lover of God, David, wrote: "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." (Psalm 27:4, ESV)

"You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”" (Psalm 27:8, ESV)

Do you see David’s emphasis? He was not yearning to be in church on Sunday. He was yearning to be in church, yes, but to do something else—namely “to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” And we don’t need to limit the word “inquire” to prayer for something, unless that “something” includes above all the drinking in of the presence and power and beauty of God himself. That’s what we need today. We need God. Desperately. For an example of this, see Exodus 33:12 ff. 

John Piper states with great insight: “We are starved for the glory of God, not self.” And then he prays. . . “O Father of glory, this is the cry of our hearts—we want to see your glory as clearly as we see the sun, and to savor it as deeply as our most desired pleasure. Wean us from our obsession with trivial things. Open the eyes of our hearts and enlighten our minds to see the glory of your Son. Forgive the undue attention we give to lesser things. Have mercy on us for Christ’s sake, and fulfill in us your great design to display the glory of your grace.” 

Are there other Scriptures? 

After Israel sinned God said that he would come to them on this condition: "But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

"Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!" (Psalm 105:3-4) 

"Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart," (Psalm 119:2) 

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." (Lamentations 3:25) 

"My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. .” (Isaiah 26:9) 

"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you." (Hosea 10:12) 

Bear with me a little further as we see how the NT also urges seeking: 

And who among us has not heard "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) 

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1) 

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) 

Tomorrow: Part 2-What DOES a Spiritual Seeker Do?

No comments: