Sunday, April 3

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

What does a spiritual seeker do?              
(From Daniel Jarvis, Life Action)

Looks for God. Evidence for God is everywhere: His creation, His church, His work in the world, His Word. Serious seekers don't settle for hearing about other people's divine encounters or rest in the knowledge that historical figures have obtained. They look. They search. They give God the same attention we would our lost keys on a behind-schedule morning.

Uncovers Truth About God. Christians should be researchers of God. We should give concentrated attention to learning, knowing, understanding, and discussing the character of our Creator. Like 49ers sure they are about to strike gold in the next shovelful, we should dig deep into the Word and ways of our Lord.

Journeys to New Places. Seekers are going somewhere. They aren't content to settle down. If there is more to know and experience of God, they will be out there, predictably, at the edge. Safe Christianity is, to a seeker, the epitome of oxymorons. For the Apostle Paul, Jerusalem would not do. Neither would Antioch, or Achaia, or Macedonia. He was out there on the edge, seeking the glory of God all the way to Rome! But then, as he told the Romans, he wanted Spain as well. Who knows? Had he lived long enough, he might have ended up preaching in Times Square.

Focuses on the Objective. If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. Not so for a serious seeker of God. Seekers may not have all the details, but they do have an objective. They want God. They won't be content with mere talk of a "personal relationship with God." They want the real thing. They plan for it. They head for it. If they get off-track, they get back on.

Explores with Sacrificial Devotion. Seekers are willing to lay aside other things, even things that matter, for the sake of finding. As we seek God, we must not underestimate the level of sacrifice He will require. It will cost much. Much time. Much energy. Much money. Much reputation. Much self-indulgence. The price is denial of the secondary for the pursuit of the primary. What sacrifices he must make along the way, a seeker will not know ahead of time, but he will make them.

Expects to Find Something. May I remind us of that great word of truth from C. S. Lewis—
            If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he can not imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.             Weight of Glory

But we are held back from seeking. Why?

- Distractions. Seekers can be distracted by other things they find along the way to their objective, even good things. One reason I decided against having television in my home is not just the potential to see evil, but the potential to see so much good . I have enough things to do without 24-hour, surround-sound distractions. I could blow a whole Saturday afternoon watching news commentary or reruns of police shows. I can get plenty of entertainment via movies here and there, or heading for a friend's house, or something else. For you it may be something radically different. It may be something wonderful like a friendship, or a particular doctrinal position you enjoy studying, or (gasp) even participating in church activities. Be sure not to let temporary things rob you of a dynamic, contagious relationship with the Creator.

- Substitution. Could it be that seekers are often allured by the promise of other things? The siren songs of false satisfaction? We seek after God for spiritual intimacy, for the joy of Christ, for the purpose of life, and for so much more. But there are other, easier things that promise the same type of fulfillment. They don't deliver, but we have trouble remembering that. At least I know I do. Don't settle for a substitute, seeker! Look for the real thing, and don't give up until you find Him.

- Impatience. Sometimes we seekers don't lack desire, we lack patience. We want to know God, but only if it fits into our schedule. Don't lose the vision of what a life with God could be like. Be willing to put in the time and effort necessary to find it.

- Misconceptions. Sometimes we seek things that don't exist. We seek a god entirely different from the God of the Bible. When He doesn't meet our expectations, we stop seeking Him, or settle for deception. If your destination doesn't exist, no map, and no amount of honest seeking, can get you there.

- Weariness. It doesn't happen overnight. Finding God, that is. And it's not out of the question that you'll get tired along the road. You might encounter a long stretch, a time that some might call "dryness" and others might see as a valley between mountaintops. The daily spiritual exercises necessary to cultivate a deep relationship with God are just that—exercises.

Do you see the need to seek God? If you do not, will you pray to see it? You sacrifice everything great on the altar of lesser things.

If you’ve been seeking God (some of you all your lives), will this message urge you on?

Let us turn unfilled for the wonderful filling of God today. 


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