“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
You can’t seek God unless He first seeks you, but you won’t find Him unless you seek Him.
Everyone likes to be sought after. If you take this verse as it stands, obviously, God is no exception. It’s another one of those paradoxes I spoke of recently. Don’t latch on so tightly to one side that you cannot appreciate the blessing of the other. As I said in the opening sentence, it was God who manifested the initial motivation (Jno. 3:16) and the consequential means (Rom. 5:8) for our reconciliation. But the truth of this cannot and should not be taken lightly.
I was reminded a few days ago of the tenacious search by the wise men who came to worship the newborn King (Matt. 2). The same Old Testament Scriptures that told them where the baby would be born were accessible to the scribes and Pharisees down the road from the stable in Bethlehem, but only the wise men took notice of them. The truth is, it’s good to search for the Truth with your head, but to find God, you must search with your heart. And that’s who the wise men were seeking, because they came prepared to worship.
We’ve all heard a husband laughingly say, “I chased her till she caught me.” That’s the way it is with God, whether in salvation or devotion. God has said, “If you want me, you’ll have to chase me, not half-heartedly, but with “all your heart.” This implies willingness to forego ambition, fame, friends, loved ones, possessions, comfort, habits, sleep, anything, if need be, that might slacken our pursuit of Him. No wonder Paul told young Timothy to “lay hold on eternal life” in 1 Timothy six.
If you’ve never truly laid hold of God by repentance and faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, but you want to, you can be sure that the “Hound of Heaven” is at your heals; and if you will seek Him with all your heart, you’ll find Him. If you’re a child of God, but sin and apathy have hidden His face from view, repent and seek Him with all your heart. Distance is of no consequence; James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” I once heard a preacher say, “God will match you, step for step, and He’s got a bigger stride.”
Remember, you can’t seek God unless He first seeks you, but you won’t find Him unless you seek Him…and the next move is yours.