Are you Seeking?


One of my favorite songs says, "The more I seek you, the more I find you. The more I find you, the more I love you."

The greatest commandment instructs us to love the Lord our God with everything we've got. But have you ever noticed how hard it is to really love someone just because you're told to? You can pretend, but your heart knows the difference.

Remember when you were a kid and you had a fight with your brother? Your mom probably forced you to "make up," which consisted of you having to say something you did not mean at the moment. Your lips were saying, "I love you," but your heart was still screaming at him.

You wouldn't admit this on penalty of death, but do you sometimes worry that maybe you don't really love God like you're supposed to? You try to make up for it with a frenzy of churchy activities, good works, and lots of gushy spiritual-sounding talk that you hope conveys the opposite of what's really going on in your heart.

Regardless of what you look like on the outside, inside you're in turmoil. After all, how can you express utter devotion to a God who would let you hurt so badly? A God who could have, but didn't, stop that drunk driver, curb your child's race to destruction, reverse the ravages of cancer. You feel abandoned, discarded, and terribly confused about this God to Whom you're supposed to offer such passion.

But how can you admit something like that? It sounds so unChristian. Isn't love for God supposed to just BE there when you accept Christ as your Lord? After all, you do believe what the Bible says and you know you're supposed to be delighted that God loves you. But something feels off. God seems so far away.

The reason he feels far away is because he IS far away.

His presence is not like loose change that can be easily gathered off the sidewalk. A slot machine we can plug with prayers until we get what we want.

And we don't like that. We expect everything to be easy. We're used to it and become a bit miffed when some fruit we want isn't there for the picking.


But the secret to falling in love with God is found in that little verse in Jeremiah: "You will seek me and you will find me, when you seek with all your heart." If you're honest with yourself, are you really seeking God or seeking what he can do for you?

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We are a society of action. We equate spiritual busyness with loving God. After all, if I'm DOING all this good stuff, isn't that showing God that I love him? I go to church--maybe I'm even the pastor! I read my Bible, lead study groups, homeschool my kids, teach Sunday School...

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Notice how when we talk about loving God our thoughts go straight to our works?

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None of that is wrong, just don't let it substitute for a deep heart relationship with God, which is what he wants from us. If he didn't, the verse would read: "You shall work for the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength."

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So what does seeking God look like? How do you seek God if it doesn't involve service?

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I believe it starts with giving up. When you recite your wedding vows, you voluntarily give up your identity as a single person. You turn over your life, your dreams, your passions to another.

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You seek God the same way. You have to let go of your right to understand--and for us often over-educated human beings, that can be tough. We feel an obligation to understand God, to be able to explain him to others, to find the reasons behind the inexplicable happenings of life. None of that is Scriptural. All we're commanded to do is to love him.

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When we hang on to our need to understand why, we limit our capacity to embrace all of God. We hold him responsible for the things we don't like, and that holding-on stifles our love for him. Seeking becomes a frustrating wade through the muck of Scripture, none of which seems to apply to our particular situation. We finally stop trying and figure God is destined to remain a distant icon to whom we owe our grudging allegiance.

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Giving up means you let go of the right to understand, the right to refuse what you don't like, and the right to be God's judge. You have to let him be God again. And in that moment, seeking begins.

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It helps to remember that God does not want to remain far away from your aching heart. He's watching for you with the light on.

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And what's more, he even provides the love that you are incapable of giving on your own. With every syllable of worship that falls from your lips, your love for God grows. With every act of contrition, every lifting of stubborn hands, every bowing of your knee and your will to His, love grows.

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Do you truly love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might? Don't lie to yourself. Or God. He's not fooled a bit by your busyness or your theology degree. He's waiting for your heart to come to his. For you to dance at his feet, to bask in his nearness.

Loving God starts with seeking.

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