God, are you there? Has anybody seen God lately? I don’t know about you, but from the look of things, God can’t be found in our society. Even sadder, God can’t be found in some of our churches. Even more shocking, there may be many children of God’s who haven’t found Him lately. Now before you conclude that I am on a judgmental rampage, let me explain. I believe that we have found God in our lives for the salvation of our souls. We have no problem seeking God and finding Him when we stand in danger of facing an eternity in Hell, but our problem comes when we believe that once we are saved we have no need to seek after Him on a daily basis.
We have the same problem that the Children of Israel had so many years ago. We run to God when we are in trouble, but we neglect God when we are in times of peace. In Jeremiah 29:13, God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah to the children of Judah who had recently been led into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, says “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.” God makes a promise to the Children of Judah in the midst of their captivity, that they will seek Him and find Him, but He places a condition on this promise, when and only when, they search for Him with all their heart! My friends, the same still applies today. God is findable, but only when we search for Him with ALL of our heart!
I believe that there are many of God’s children who live their lives without the joy, peace and happiness that God has intended, simply because they have failed to search for God with their whole heart day in and day out. But what does it mean to search for God with your whole heart? How do we know if we are searching for Him with our whole heart? How do we know if we are missing the mark? I believe that there are three characteristics of the life of the person who is seeking after God with their whole heart.
The first has to do with the immediate context of Jeremiah 29. Judah was in captivity for one reason, they had failed to obey the first two commandments. Ever since they were led out of Egypt, they had been continually led astray into the worship of idols. The man or woman who searches after God with their whole heart will be free from idols. God says in Exodus 20:3-4, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” We may not worship carved images, but we have become very good at worshiping idols. An idol can be defined as “an action, activity, person, or possession, that we give priority to in our lives before God.” From this definition, we are an idol worshiping society, and sadly, we have become an idol worshiping Church. If we want to seek after God with our whole heart we must get rid of our idols, and put God back in His rightful place first!
The second characteristic of the life of the person who is seeking after God with their whole heart is that they are obedient to His Word. Psalm 119:60 says, “I made haste, and did not delay to keep your commandments.” There is a difference between reading our Bibles and obeying our Bibles! It has been said that if all of the Christians in the world picked up their Bibles at the same time, it would create the largest dust storm this world has ever seen, but I propose that if all of the Christians in the world would obey their Bible it would create the largest revival this world has ever seen. We need to make haste, and not delay to obey the Word of God. If it says it, then we need to do it!
The third and final characteristic of the person who is seeking after God with their whole heart is that they are committed to His will. We tend to treat God like some sort of a magical genie that we come to in prayer and demand that He does what we desire Him to do. Prayer is not about the proclamation of your will, it is about your submission to God’s will. No one exemplified this more than the Lord Jesus. In Luke 22:42, we find Jesus praying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.” Francis Schaeffer once said, “When I am in the presence of God, it seems profoundly unbecoming to demand anything.” We need to learn to enter the presence of God and enjoy Him, not continually tell Him how to bring enjoyment to us.
Have you found God lately? You will only find Him when you search after Him with your whole heart. Let’s destroy our Idols, obey His Word, and commit to following His will. Then we will experience this life the way God intended, hand in hand with Him.
Kevin Reed, Senior Pastor
4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford