Is it possible to look for God, yet fail to find Him? Does God hide Himself from those who desire to know Him? Ultimately, the answer to these questions is no. The issue is one of motivation. When the motivation is pleasing to God, the outcome is assured – He will reveal truth to us, He will restore us to Himself, He will bless us with His fellowship, He will enable us to live a meaningful and fulfilled life. If the heart is right, you cannot seek after God and somehow miss the mark. He won’t let it happen. What does it mean to sincerely seek the Lord and come to Him on His terms?
Seek the Lord evangelically: by this I mean through the person and work of Jesus Christ. God reveals Himself through His Son. Salvation comes through His Son. Blessing comes through His Son. There can be no seeking and finding God outside of Jesus Christ. John 14:6, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”. This obviously necessitates faith. To come to God through Christ is to have faith in Him as the incarnate Son of God who made atonement for sin on the cross, who then rose on the third day and is seated at the right hand of His Father.
Seek the Lord repentantly: in other words, concerned to do His will. We won’t find God nor enjoy His fellowship and blessings if we are determined to carry on living in sin. John 7:17, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” How many people engage with the Bible and yet make no progress; the truth does not impact their lives and they remain strangers to grace. Surely it is because they are wedded to their sins. Like the rich young ruler who was not prepared to follow Jesus because it meant giving up his covetous ways. Christ said, you cannot serve two masters, either you will hate one and love the other or be loyal to one and despise the other.
Seek the Lord eagerly: the half-heated seeker is not actually interested, and neither is God. Token efforts in anything go without reward. Heb 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” To eagerly seek the Lord means that He is the priority and not behind everything else. It means that we do not give up when our expectations fail to be met. It means there is a keenness and even urgency in our prayers because more than anything else we want to know His presence and blessing in our lives.
Seek the Lord humbly: blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The poor in spirit are those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy; they know they are sinful and have nothing to offer God. They cannot in any way earn His favour and it is to His mercy and compassion they look. Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.” It is the broken person, the helpless person, the person who knows that this world offers them nothing, the person who acknowledges that they can’t fix themselves, this is the person the Lord draws close to.
God is available to all who want Him. The question is, do we want Him?