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Monday, June 27, 2011

What Would Make Us Seek God?

The Bible is very clear that no one has sought after God.

Romans 3:11-12 (ESV)
11 no one understands;
     no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
        not even one.”

Then, why does the Bible also tell us to seek God while He may be found?

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV)
6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

The answer must be that God is putting the desire to seek Himself in the hearts of each of us. We are given the opportunity to do something we would not naturally do without His intervention. We are seeking because He has sought us. We are seeking because He is claiming us.

Yet, do I need to understand this so far as to believe that I have no choice in the matter? Absolutely not! God has given me a heart to do anything He asks of me but I have always been able to resist the Holy Spirit, quench the Holy Spirit and and fail to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I have committed sins that I know to be wrong as soon as I have done them. I have wondered why I committed these sins but I have known that I committed them even though the Spirit was urging me to do something else.

God reaches out to me. He is the Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to look for the one who is lost. He is the Father who waits patiently for His son to return home. He is the One who makes my spirit alive so that I may have a relationship with Him. He is the One who calls me by the actions of others who cross my path. He is the One who uses the circumstances as divine providence to bring me home to Him. He places that yearning in my heart to seek Him.

But, I can always reject it. I can always go my own way. I can always look so intently at the things which take me away from Him and go my own way.

Maybe this is why the Psalmist says,:

Psalm 119:176 (ESV)
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

The Psalmist is crying out for God to seek him. I suspect that that cry alone is evidence that God is already seeking him. How else would anyone ever seek God unless God sought him first?

That makes 1 John 4:19 make all the sense:  "We love because He first loved us."

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