The Search for God

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens, a city full of idolatry, he found opportunities to teach them about the One True God. Paul revealed to this region an unfortunate truth… that God was, “an Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). His announcement was clearly that God does not want to be unknown to us or any of His creation. This is why He knit into our being the desire to seek after Him. Our greatest quest is to find God… to know Him as Creator and Our Source of Life! Paul explains this to those in Athens:

“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

God’s Desire:

God wants us to seek for Him, but we all must realize that He is not far away. We can seek after God in whatever way we wish, but there are ways that make our search more effective and will not leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. Let me explain through a story about King David. When David planned to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem, the ark was placed on a new ox-driven cart to be transported. During the journey the oxen hit a bump and Uzzah placed his hand on the ark to steady it. When he touched the ark God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:3-8). You might ask… why? They were doing something that was good (returning the ark) in a way that seemed to them to be effective (on an ox-driven cart). Uzzah’s attempt to steady the ark would have been a natural reflex.

Why was God upset?

It was because God had given a way for the ark to be handled and David hurried in without knowledge of God’s desired pattern. David’s plan side-stepped the will of God, who he really wanted to honor. Notice, David corrects his mistaken actions with sober obedience, “No one may carry the ark of God, but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever” (1 Chron 15:2). Then he calls for the Levites to sanctify themselves and make preparation to carry out their duty in accordance with God’s plan. He says, “…because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chron 15:13). Having the best of intentions were irrelevant and actually lead to the death of David’s friend. The way in which David initially chose to move the ark violated God’s ordinance.

Instruction and Patterns:

Even though this happened in the Old Testament, the point is the same for us… we must seek God according to His instructions, rather than according to the way that seems best to us.

When we consider our position as “a seeker” it doesn’t really matter if we are a novice or a well trained disciple of Christ, we must always humble ourselves and seek Him with an open and yielded heart.Drawing near to God in an appropriate way always gets His attention and response. God gives grace to the humble and lifts them up (Jm 4:6, 10). Jesus said, “…seek and you will find” (Mt 7:7). Paul even said that everything he had found in life up to the time of gaining knowledge of Christ, he considered as “rubbish” just to gain Christ and be found in Him… “that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10).

The Real Goal:

Jesus reminds us that the Father’s delight is to give us the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:9-13). Remind yourself in your search for God, that the goal is to host the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16)(Eph. 2:19-22). To make Him feel welcome in your life, means you will need to yield yourself to His preferences. There are some wonderful depths of peace and joy to be found, when a person seeks God in a way that pleases Him. God’s pleasure is what makes us effective seekers.

Leave a Reply

Archives