Sometimes I think that God wants to lavish God’s goodness on us more than we want to seek God out but God withholds such extended grace until we are ready to receive that grace as individuals and as the corporate people of God, until that grace works effectively in God’s world for God’s glory and for our good.
I refer you to Jeremiah 29 where God says to the people, ‘if you seek me with all your heart you shall find me.’ That’s a big ‘if’. It seems to be a condition as when God tells the people: 2 Chronicles 7 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.”
I wonder if that was what was going on when Jesus would not answer the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7) who asked for help for her daughter. Was he helping her and the disciples to understand that God waits for us all to be ‘ready’ to receive from God?
Is that perhaps why Jesus told the crowds of people to seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else needed would be added? (Matthew 6)
I’m just not sure even about my own faithfulness in seeking, desiring, longing for God. I am striving to be better but I see how weak my longing is unless I am perhaps desperate in a crisis situation, but I should always be desperate for God. Isn’t that a line in a contemporary Christian song, ‘I’m desperate for you.’ Yes, I just looked it up. ‘Breathe’ is the name of the song.
I remember Keith Green’s song where he sings, ‘My flesh is tired of seeking God but on my knees I’ll stay, I want to be His pleasing child until that final day.’ The bolded type is the title of the song.
I must admit that indeed the flesh is tired. Even too tired at times to start let alone to continue our prayers. I found myself this morning just spending time praying, God I want to know your will and do your will even if I don’t know it. (Thomas Merton wrote a great prayer about that.) I do think we can know God’s will. That’s what Paul writes in Romans 12:2. But how much do we really want to know? How much do we want to seek?
Wow, here’s a prayer for all of us from Psalm 27: …Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!”
But let’s see if it is true. Let us all implore God more. Seek God more intensely and see if we don’t ‘FIND’.
Let me close with a quote from John Chrysostom (Archbishop of Constantinople in the 4th Century):
Our soul should be directed in God, not merely when we suddenly think of prayer, but even when we are concerned with something else. If we are looking after the poor, if we are busy in some other way, or if we are doing any type of good work, we should season our actions with the desire and the remembrance of God. Through this salt of the love of God we can all become a sweet dish for the Lord. If we are generous in giving time to prayer, we will experience its benefits throughout our life.