Scripture Reading: John 1: 29 – 42
Text: John 1: 39, Hosea 10: 12- 13
Seeking is a fundamental virtue in the Christian quest for spiritual desire, growth, development and spiritual fulfillment. In fact any spiritual journey worth the effort must began with a true search. Seeking directs the Christian’s purpose, focuses his goal and enables him or her to get in touch at all times with the creator. Indeed, it is in the same vein that the bible in Luke 19: 10, states that the “the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost”; which is also contained in his mission statement in Luke 4 :18. While seeking the lost is Jesus’ main occupation in the God-human relation, that may not be said about man in this relationship.
Seek means intense search, striving harder to find or to obtain something through serious attempt or much effort, or trying to get something or become something through hard work. In our passage, John the Baptist have just introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, and as the man he has told his disciples that he was unworthy to untie the lace of his (Jesus) shoes, (John 1: 29-30 & 36). After this introduction, Andrew and his brother – Simon Peter began to follow Christ behind. When Christ turned and faced them, he asked them a very simple but fundamental question “what seek ye” (John 1: 38), or what do you want or better still, what are you looking for? The answer to this question would have been simple too, but the two brothers rather decided to enquire where Jesus dwell, and went to stay with him. What an encounter? The two disciples were looking for meaning to life. They have found the Messiah (verse 41). They have heard so much about Jesus from John the Baptist, and wanted to have personal encounter with Him not from a distance but very close personal intimacy.
What do people in our modern society today really looking for, and how are they pursuing their search? Today we are witnesses to constant movement from one church denomination to the other by the same person or family, and if a new church is established tomorrow, they want to enroll as members. They behave as if God was difficult to find. Are they seeking the truth, God or for their personal material benefits? They pretend to be looking for the truth and spiritual fulfilment, but inside they know that they are looking for immediate material benefits. But the bible says in Jeremiah 29: 13 that “and ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
This passage reminds me of the “Hide and Seek” game children used to play when I was growing up. The purpose of the game was that the one hiding must not be found by those searching for him or her until the game was over. Unlike that game, God is always available and literally looking for. But we are always afar off him and not wanting to be found by him, obviously for who we are and relying on our own understanding. Hence the bible in Psalm 14 :2-3 laments that God was disappointed when looking for men that seek him. God is not difficult to find, we are the one avoiding him. Now let us consider the following:
Why should man seek God?
When should man seek God?
How should man seek God?
What are the benefits for seeking God?
To the first question – why should man seek God? Man need to seek God because man is depending on God for life, all provision and sustenance, and indeed our link to eternal life. Second, we are in a turbulent world. In Psalm 83: 15-16, out of persecution, tempest and shame, people started to seek God. In dire need for the truth and revival, people may return to seek God (Hosea 3: 5). Indeed, there is always the need and time to see God, but seeking God should be a daily experience for enduring intimacy and constant fellowship through His word.
When should Man seek God?
Our consideration here is time to seek God. There is time for everything. The bible in Psalm 8: 17 and Isaiah 26 :9 say that those that wish to seek God must do so early. The context of time here refers to both early in life when we are young and early in the day, when the day breaks with light. We are encouraged to seek God when we are young (Psalm 34: 10; 37: 25; 119: 9). The bible specifically states in Ecclesiastes 12 :1 “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not …”; because there come days of darkness – Ecclesiastes11 :8. We must also be conscious of seeking God early in the day (Psalm 19 :27; Luke 21 :38; & Matthew 20 :1), because the night cometh when no man can work – John 9 :4.
Second, we must seek God when we can find him, Isaiah 55 :6
How Should We Seek God?
First, we must understand and know what we are seeking for. Recall the request of James and John, the sons of Zebedee in Mark 10 :35-40. They wanted earthly position (also see Matthew 20 :20-27), and not mindful of heavenly glory. Jesus rebuked them for not knowing what they were looking for. In Colossians 3 :1, the bible says that we should seek those things that are above. Similarly, in Matthew 6 :33, we are urged to seek first the kingdom of God. How? First, only the humble and the poor in spirit can seek God. Psalm 69 :32 says that the humble shall seek God, while in the Matthew 5 :3, the bible says that those that are poor in the spirit seek and obtain the kingdom of heaven.
In Proverbs 7 :15, the bible also says that we must seek God diligently, with all our hearts. No wonder Jesus illustrated the value of salvation and repentance to the lost piece of silver coin in Luke 15 :8-10, that the woman who owned it lighted a lamb and sought it diligently and rejoiced after she had found it. Seeking God requires diligent determination and focus. We must apply our heart to the word of God and keep His laws and instructions. We should constantly study God’s word and pray for the power and enablement to do God’s will at all times. This is fundamental principle and pathway toward seeking God.
What are the Benefits of Seeking God?
It is interesting to note categorically that there are great benefits from seeking God. In the first instance, the bible in Matthew 7 :7 assures us that if we seek, we shall find, and in verse 8, the bible explains the experiences of those who have sought before. It is therefore encouraging that we are not asked to go into wild-goose-chase. We are sure to find God if we seek him diligently from our heart. This is not like the “hide and seek” game we mentioned earlier. Indeed, it is always a joyful experience for us to find whatever we are looking for. Psalm 105 :3-4 directs that the hearts of those that seek God should rejoice.
Now let us take a look at other benefits of seeking God. The woman that found her lost piece of silver coin rejoiced greatly. Indeed, there is great joy both ways. We are happy when we have found the Messiah and God is also happy when he had found us. The bible says that there is joy in heaven over every lost soul found.
When we found God, our steps began to be ordered, no more disorderly movement and falling over every pitfall. Our ways become prosperous (Joshua 1 :7-8; 1 Chronicles 22 :13; Isaiah 55 :11) and we begin to experience the joy of salvation and the assurance of eternal life with our creator. (see also 1 Chronicles 28 :9; 2 Chronicles 7 :14; 11 :16; Isaiah 41: 17; Matthew 7 :7; Luke 11 :9; Hebrew 11 :6).
In conclusion, we must take delight in the fact that our search for God cannot be in vain, that our search will yield lasting result. Therefore, I encourage you to seek God diligently with all your hearts now that it is day, because the night is coming when it will be difficult to do so.
Lord Jesus, I have been searching for things that do not have spiritual value. I now ask for your pardon and help to refocus my search on heavenly goal so that I will be able to establish an intimate relationship with you now and when you shall come in glory. Amen.