Do you have a difficult time finding God? Really, you shouldn’t. The problem could be your approach. The prophet Jeremiah puts it this way: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
What does it mean to seek? With its many synonyms, I think ‘hunt for’ explains it best, implying there is diligence, enthusiasm, and earnestness in the search. That way of searching reveals the desire and intention of the searcher’s heart; it says to God, “I love you; I want to know you better, and have a vibrant, ongoing relationship with you. I will give up anything and everything you ask of me to maintain a relationship with you.”
So what form should the search take?
· First and foremost, let’s get rid of lip service! It does not benefit us when we claim we are Christians, go to church, sing in the choir, and on and on, but live contrary to God’s Word.
· Second, in addition to being believers, our hearts should yearn for God and focus on Him. We should desire to know Him better; we should desire and ask to know His mind on issues, and then gladly obey Him.
· Third, we cannot know more about God without learning about Him. If we desire to know Him better, our next step should be going to His Word, and wherever else we can, to learn about Him. Head knowledge alone about God is not enough, however. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us how we can apply what we learn in our everyday living. In other words, we should want to be transformed by what He reveals of Himself to us. Like Paul says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV). Studying His Word comes in different forms: personal study, group study, listening to sermons, and any other avenue of study God makes available to us.
· Fourth is seeking Him in prayer, asking the Spirit to search our hearts and reveal the sins we need to confess and forsake: both sins of commission and omission (see Psalm 139:23-24). We need to hunger and thirst for Him, asking for Him to live through us as Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV). We need to yearn to be closer to Him, to be lost in His love, and then desire to be obedient to Him.
· Lastly, when we go to Him in prayer, let us not rush out of His presence, but wait patiently on Him to hear His voice of affirmation and any instructions He might have for us (see Psalm 40:1) .
It is not enough to say to God, “I am seeking you,” because He already knows every heart, so He knows whether or not you are seeking Him; “For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV). If you are searching, make sure you are searching with ALL YOUR HEART, because it is only then that you’ll find Him; a haphazard search will not yield the needed result. King David admonished his son, Solomon, “Acknowledge the God of your Father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind” (1Chronicles 28:9 NIV).
If we seek God with all our hearts, we will find Him, because He has promised, and He is faithful.