I think most of us find ourselves searching for something better at different times throughout our lives. We might be seeking a better job…more money…a bigger house…a newer car… a vacation…more friends…a better marriage…better-behaved children. Or we might be actively seeking something less tangible like peace… strength… courage… significance… affirmation. God knows what we need. Are these the things we should be spending the majority of our time and energy seeking? Jesus said, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find” (Matt 7:7a NLT), but what is it He is telling us to seek? All the things we tend to chase?
In John 6, Jesus chastises the crowds who pursued Him only for the physical blessings He was able to provide. He said, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you” (John 6:26-27 NLT). He then tells them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me” (John 6:35-36 NLT). Like the crowds He addressed, we should be seeking Him rather than a few pieces of bread and fish.
Our God is not in hiding; we will find Him if we look for Him. Moses reminded the Israelites that “you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 4:29 NIV). Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” (Jer 29:13-14a NIV). David reminded his son Solomon to serve the Lord “with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chron 28:9 NIV).
Not only does the Lord reveal Himself to those who seek after Him, but He rewards them as well! The writer of Hebrews says that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb 11:6 NIV), that is, those who seek Him with all their heart. If we “earnestly seek” things and possessions, we may or may not get what we were seeking. If we “earnestly seek” God, we will always find what we were seeking. We will have a relationship with, and experience the presence of, the King and Creator of everything, who chooses to reward those who seek Him with all kinds of blessings.
What would our lives look like if we sought after God earnestly…diligently…with all our heart and with all our soul? What if we all strove to live out the psalmist’s words, “Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him” (Psalm 105:4 NLT). What would our churches look like if we all did this? What would the world look like if all our churches did this? Let us all cry out to the Lord, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Ps 27:8 NIV).