Seeking after God

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)

"Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” (1 Chron 22:19)

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land". (2 Chron 7:14)

"If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you." (2 Chron 15:2)

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him". (Hebrews 11:6)

What we can deduce from these verses is that God is now waiting with wide and open arms for all of us to approach and draw near to Him. God is looking for seekers! God is looking for those who will not be afraid to try and find him. Seekers can be those who already have a true relationship with Christ who want a deeper relationship. They can also be those who want to start a relationship with God for the first time.

Maybe you have not reached that stage yet, and are looking for evidence for his existence. I would reply - put him to the test! However, I will cover more on this after looking at some of the aspects of the above verses.

We can see from the verses that seeking God means to seek his face, and in doing so we are seeking His presence. He is a living being. We seek his face by approaching God in prayer. It's the only method by which we can converse with him. Faith mentioned above means trusting in him, to take him at his word. Notice there is also a guaranteed promise attached, that he rewards those who earnestly seek after him. Entering into a personal relationship with God himself is our greatest reward.

Both the Old and New Testaments say it is a “setting of the mind and heart” on God. It is the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God. It involves a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God. It is a conscious effort on our part. There has to be a true, heartfelt desire, a longing that is not easily quashed.

The greatest hindrance to seeking the Lord is pride. “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him” (Psalm 10:4). Therefore a humble and lowly spirit is essential to seeking the Lord in prayer. To quote John Piper on the subject of seeking, he says this:

"We do not make this mental and emotional effort to seek God, because he is lost (to us). That’s why we would seek a coin or a sheep. But God is not lost. Nevertheless, there is always something through which or around which we must go to meet him consciously. This going through or around is what seeking is. He is often hidden. Veiled. We must go through mediators and around obstacles. The heavens are telling the glory of God. So we can seek him through that. He reveals himself in his word. So we can seek him through that. He shows himself to us in the evidences of grace in other people. So we can seek him through that. The seeking is the conscious effort to get through the natural means to God himself — to constantly set our minds toward God in all our experiences, to direct our minds and hearts toward him through the means of his revelation. This is what seeking God means."

However, maybe you still wonder whether or not God really does exist, and are looking and seeking evidence to prove this one way or another? Atheists love to say that there is no evidence for God. To help you decide, I have added below a few pointers and thoughts for you to consider further.

The Creator is clearly seen

God has revealed himself everywhere and continues to do so all the time. These are not just vague impressions but are clearly visible in what he has made, i.e. The creation of the world, the universe, and all living things. God says in Romans:

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:8)

The evidence is all around us. Our universe contains too much order for our existence to have been created out of chaos. You only have to look at how the world fits together, to wonder how it is all possible without the guiding hand of a loving creator sustaining all things. We are complex beyond our imaginations. We are given minds that are naturally inquisitive, and if we really take time look and consider the creation, we find ourselves in awe and wonder. The various David Attenborough episodes that we can view about nature blows our minds! Where did all the various species and this complexity of life come from? It can only speak of intelligent design and not chance. It is not a complex evolution of single-cell organisms in the sea crawling out onto land. I believe you need more faith to believe in life happening by chance and evolution than believing in the existence of God! Instead, we can only truly appreciate that they are the result of the wisdom and power that designed them in the beginning.


Who created God?

This is often asked, but it is rather a circular question! If you ask who created God, then who created the entity that created God? The bible makes it clear that God has always existed. Nobody created Him. God is an eternal being, the Self-Existent One, He says "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 1:8) It just has to be excepted that God has always existed, outside of time and space. God exists absolutely. He did not come into being and will never go out of being. He is not becoming, or growing, or changing.


Take a look at yourself

Most people fail to look inside themselves for the existence of God. God created us, we are made in his image. We bear His fingerprints and those fingerprints point to His existence.

First, we are all born with an innate knowledge of what is right and wrong. Even a young child knows that when they misbehave they are doing something that goes against their parents’ wishes. The knowledge of good and evil comes from God. It was put there to keep us in balance and to allow us to understand why we need to come to God for forgiveness.

Second, we have a desire to love. God is love. Our whole life is spent trying to fill a gap that exists in our souls; a gap that can only be filled by the love of God. No matter what we do to try and fill this gap - money drugs, alcohol, sex, possessions - the hole will never be filled until we turn back to God and accept His Son as our Savior and Lord.

These are only two of the inward feelings that should tell us that we are more than just some random mistake of nature; that we are created, that a real God created us, and that He is still there watching over us.


Jesus Christ is the clearest revelation of God

Again, many people attempt to prove Jesus never existed, despite the wealth of historical evidence found even in non-biblical literature. The historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth is both long-established and widespread. Within a few decades of his supposed lifetime, he is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of Christian writings. Many of the writings all appeared within the lifetimes of numerous eyewitnesses, so the chance of any of them being inaccurate historically would have been hotly disputed at the time and corrected.

The first writer outside of the church was historian Flavius Josephus, around AD 93. He has two references to Jesus, and a reference to his brother James.

About 20 years after Josephus, there are the Roman politicians Pliny and Tacitus, who held some of the highest offices of state at the beginning of the second century AD. From Tacitus we learn that Jesus was executed while Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect in charge of Judaea (AD 26-36) and Tiberius was emperor (AD 14-37) – reports that fit with the timeframe of the gospels. Pliny contributes the information that, where he was governor in northern Turkey, Christians worshipped Christ as a God.

Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and Thallus also wrote about Christian worship and persecution that is consistent with New Testament accounts.

The Jewish Talmud, which is certainly not biased toward Jesus, concurs about the major events of his life. From the Talmud, "we learn that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, gathered disciples, made blasphemous claims about himself, and worked miracles, but these miracles are attributed to sorcery and not to God."

This is what is said by John the Baptist in the gospel of John:

"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared (or revealed) Him." (John 1:18)

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’  did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)

All we need to do is take a good look at the life of Jesus to see that He was a man, but more than a man, He was God - in the flesh. He became one of us. When was the last time you saw a man walk on water, calm a storm, or make a man rise from the dead? Jesus Himself conquered death and rose again to ascend back into Heaven.

Think about the impact that Jesus has had on this world from the very moment of His birth; the way His life, death and resurrection have shaped world history, changed lives, and healed souls. No mere man could do this so we must say as the Roman soldier did at His crucifixion, “Surely this is the Son of God.”

Why are there so many religions?

It seems mankind has always had this inmost desire to seek after some kind of God, or gods, or worship images, idols. Why? Because we were made in his image, and he has placed this desire to seek him in our hearts.

The Bible
The bible itself is evidence that God exists. Although penned by more than 40 writers, it has one author who directed them what to write. Historians and archaeologists have repeatedly confirmed its authenticity. Archaeologists have consistently discovered the names of government officials, kings, cities, and festivals mentioned in the Bible - sometimes when historians didn't think such people or places existed.

The bible is far more than a history book. It is his special revelation of himself to us. If we really want to find him, it is in and only through his word that he has revealed his character, his self. The creation is the result of the work of his hands; this should be enough (see above on Romans 1:8) to prove his existence. Nevertheless, if you want to know more about God, you have to turn to the bible as it his revelation of himself. There are many things that we could never know about God unless he told them to us. You may gain some knowledge, something about myself by my possessions, my surroundings. But unless you know me personally, and spent time with me you will never really know me.

It's a bad illustration, but the Bible is like his autobiography, but far more besides! He speaks to you through it. It is a living word. Go to the bible and read it. Perhaps for the very first time, and as you read, pray. God is a person who listens! This may feel awkward at first, but it is just like picking up a phone. It is a direct link to Him. Go to Him with all your doubts, explain your desire to find him, and test whether he exists! Seeking involves a calling out to him, and a pleading. A good prayer would be along the lines of “O Lord, please open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the veil, the curtains of my own blindness. Lord, have mercy on me, and kindly reveal yourself. I long to see your face.”  Ask for the faith to see! Also, don't feel embarrassed about visiting a bible-loving church, where it is explained and preached. The true nature of corporate worship is to seek God’s face. A promise is given to those who diligently seek the Lord, that he will be found.

"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)

Scripture tells us that if we seek the Kingdom of God first, then all the things we need will be given to us. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matt 6:33). When we place God first in life, we see him working through all circumstances and events for our good. Whether you are just beginning to seek out God, or you have been a Christian for years, we should never stop seeking to know God better!

A  few other texts for your encouragement:

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. " (Proverbs 8:17)

"The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. (Psalm 14:2)

"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!" (Psalm 105:4)

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

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." (Lam 3:2)

"And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’ ’ (Acts 17:26-28)

"Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:8)

If you start to seek after God, then he will begin to draw close near to you! You may even find it was he who was searching, seeking you long before you had any thoughts for him.

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