|In my life there has been much joy, pain, defeats, victories, and sin. Through all of this I have spent many years trying to be successful in my profession as well as a good father, husband, and member of a local congregation. I have been an officer in the church for many years and have tried to be effective in that capacity as well.|
A few years ago I came to the realization that no matter how successful I am at any of those things which I have mentioned above, it is all for naught if I do not have a genuine relationship with God. So I began to pray and search God's word for the answer. Jesus gave us the answer, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
The conclusion which I arrived at, as a Christian trying to serve God and to do His will, is that we should seek God. This is the single most important thing which we, as children of God, must do to show ourselves approved of God. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans says, "I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)
Paul's admonition to the Christians in Rome has a lot to do with yielding to the Holy Spirit and being an instrument for God's service. But it also has a lot to do with seeking God, for he continues in verse two, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." How can we truly be transformed unless we seek God?
What does it mean to seek God, or how does one go about seeking God? To seek, as it is used in this capacity, means to beat a common path to something. Or, in other words, to constantly seek. It doesn't mean to seek, find, and have something. It does mean to do the same thing over and over again, to constantly be seeking.
A few years ago my wife decided that she wanted a new lamp for the living room. She knew just exactly where she was going to put it, but she didn't know exactly what kind of lamp she wanted. She spent many hours over a period of several months looking for (seeking) that perfect lamp for that one spot in the living room. I heard her fretting over the fact that she could not find a lamp she liked for those several months. Then one day she came home with a lamp. She announced that she had found the lamp she wanted, she placed it on the table, and I never heard another word about that lamp. She sought the lamp, found it, and then had it. She probably didn't think much about it after that.
This is not what seeking God is all about. We cannot simply seek God, find Him, and then have Him. We can't put Him on a shelf somewhere and forget about Him. Paul, in his epistle to the Colossians gives us some insight into what it means to seek God. He tells the Colossians, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:1,2) We need to set our minds on things above. In other words, we need to have God in the forefront of our consciousness. As we meet problems in life, or as we make decisions, we need to be asking ourselves, "What would God have me do in this situation?" We need to throw off the phoniness of "playing Christian," and be known as a person who seeks God.
There are many ways in which we seek God: through prayer, memorization of scripture, fasting, Bible study, attending worship services, communion service, listening to gospel music or taped sermons, meditating on God and His word, and sharing Christ with one another.
The book of Isaiah tells us that we should seek God while He is near, "Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." (Isaiah 55:6) Seeking God is also exercising our faith in Him. It is impossible to please God without faith. (See Hebrews 11:6) However, for many Christians, the only time they make a conscience effort to seek God is when there is trouble, when they want something, or when they expect a blessing. This is not wholeheartedly seeking God.
So why don't people seek God? The answer is spelled out for us in the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy in verses 25-28. Many of us have fallen into the same trap as the Israelites, we have set up for ourselves false gods. Some of our false gods are: money, job, family, things (cars, houses, etc.), sports, and pleasure. Do you serve any of these false gods, or perhaps others?
There are other hindrances to seeking God. Unfortunately, the society in which we live corrupts us. These corruptions keep us from seeking God. Some of the more obvious corruptions are: television (violent or sexually oriented movies, soap operas, etc.), magazines, pleasure seeking, and materialism. Some less obvious may be work schedules, family duties, leadership (community, business, church) duties, etc. There are other things as well, it is not always the same for each person. The point is the things we have to contend with in life corrupts our seeking God.
When I was growing up in the 50's and early 60's, you never heard profanity on television. Now we see homosexuality, abortion, and extra-material affairs all promoted on television every week, not to mention a host of vulgar and profane language and violence beyond compare. These things are wrong and they corrupt our seeking God.
In all of this, however, there is good news. Jesus tells us in the sixth chapter of Matthew to "seek first the kingdom of God." Then in chapter seven he says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7,8)
You may feel that you are so far away from a true relationship with God that it is impossible to seek and to find Him. But that just isn't true! If you are not a Christian, then you must seek God through giving your life to Jesus Christ. You must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. You must repent of your sins, confess to your fellow man that you believe, and be baptized in the watery grave of baptism. Then you are ready for a life-long journey of seeking God.
If you are now a Christian, and haven't been living as close to God as you should, now is the time to start that journey. The Apostle John tells us in his first epistle, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) Confess your unfaithfulness now, and start that life-long journey of constantly seeking and finding God.
Seeking and finding God is a wonderful experience. I've noticed in my life that when I truly seek God and His righteousness, I find Him. I am so excited and joyous that I seek Him more, then I find Him. That, in turn, makes me happy and I want to seek Him more, and then I find Him. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him. Jesus told us in His word, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6) What a wonderful promise, to know that if we hunger and thirst for righteous-ness, that if we seek God, we will find Him.
Don't let the things of this world keep you from seeking and finding God. Jesus tells us in His word, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) Don't let the world corrupt you and keep you from seeking God. Don't let the world cause you to lose you own soul.
I know that some teach the doctrine of "Once saved, always saved." But this is not what the Bible teaches. We are all in danger of losing our soul if we do not seek God.
So remember brothers and sisters, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..." (Matthew 6:33)
I have many favorite scriptures that help me make it through this world and live each day in Christ Jesus. Here are just a few.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
All scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
About the Author
Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.
Visit our site at http://www.james1-22.org
Permission to use is granted if attributed to author and his website.
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