1 Chronicles 16:10-11 “Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”
First impressions are not always wrong.
Sometimes they are warnings of more profound things underneath. Other times they betray the true nature of a man who seeks to hide. A false bravado. A mask of feigned happiness. But often, what lies below the surface is what we indeed are.
I have heard that even as we age, we are at best, a little boy or a little girl who in essence, needs three essential things to be balanced in their life.
To be loved. God placed it in us to want and desire to love and be loved. We all can love and be loved. To share the love on such an intimate level with God is truly awe-inspiring.
To be accepted. Rejection flies in the face of our inner peace. To be rejected is unsettling, to say the least, and can eat like cancer in a man’s soul. Acceptance gathers us close; it calms the fear.
To be protected. Fear preys upon us all to some degree. Knowing I have the Sovereign God, the Creator of the world who knows my every thought hears my every word and sees my every step is comforting when the others are fulfilled.
That said, our text this morning begs the question; “What am I seeking, and whom am I seeking?”
Many will chase after the world’s answer to the three basic needs.
Seeking love without God’s guidance will lead down a darksome path. When the love we seek fails to satisfy, we will either go more in-depth, compromising our principles to get it. Or, we will numb ourselves and degrade ourselves because we feel unworthy of the love we seek.
At that moment, we seek the acceptance of others. If I cannot find love because those I seek reject me, I have only two options: my way or God’s way. When I choose my way, I am accepting only the protection I can provide. But, when I want God’s way, I come under His wings; His umbrella of protection.
Our enemy, Satan, has perfected his marketing techniques over the centuries. Often, he does not need to exert much energy to capture our attention. But, for those who will dedicate their hearts and their lives to seeking God, he will launch and an all-out assault on your faith, your mind, and those around you.
Bear in mind that God is still Sovereign and Satan cannot do anything without God’s permission. The Book of Job showed us that. Even when God’s hand moved against Job, he sought God. He did not fall in anguish, self-pity, or self-loathing. His faith rose to meet the challenge of grief and loss.
His character was forged in the preparation. He sought God daily. Job sought God for others. He was selfless in his pursuit of God. He knew God loved him and rested in that confidence. Job had grown in his daily devotions to know that God loved, accepted, and protected him.
In that environment of security, Job sought out the presence of God. It was personal, it was close, and it was very much alive.
Our passions will usually make our press to make our decisions for us. For some, this season of football here in the United States means some men (and women) will be consumed with fantasy football. Some go to such lengths in their study; they rival most professional coaches.
Others in their careers will spend countless hours in trying to be better than the next person; to get one rung higher in their pursuit of love, acceptance, and security. The sad fact is that once there, they find that it is empty and unfulfilling.
John D. Rockefeller Sr. said:
“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”
It is said by the second wealthiest man of his time (net worth $336B).
Many quote this verse citing the recipe for revival:
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Even if we were to follow it, our hearts would need recalibration to focus and seek after things differing from where they are now. Our Heavenly Father knew that the allure of the world would, at times, capture our thoughts. But if we commit to seeking God and His presence in our lives, we will know what true happiness is and what joy there is in pleasing God.
David knew and sang of it often.
David’s life shows us that the relationship we have with God matters. Who we seek matters. The depth of our commitment to that which we seek matters. Those who have gone before us reveal that seeking God will set the course for a much better life than you or I could ever make for ourselves.
God seeks to have a relationship with us. As incredulous as it sounds, He has made every path for us to come to Him – even if my desire is as small as a mustard seed.
Jeremiah knew loneliness, pain, and rejection. What comforted him?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
I believe Jeremiah gave God his heart to seek Him continually.
May we, by God’s grace, do the same!