DayBreaks for 8/14/17: Seeking God
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2007:
I love the story of the prodigal son. It is my favorite story that Jesus told. As a father, I can understand the emotions in the story. As a wayward child, I can understand what it feels like to return home again. As the older brother, I can see my envy and pride that keeps me from rejoicing with what is good. There is one thing, though, that I think is unique about this story. Jesus describes the father as running to greet his home-coming son. To the best of my knowledge, I can’t think of another situation in the Bible where God runs to meet anyone. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t meet them, or come to us. After all, Jesus “came” to seek and save the lost. We could not have bridged the gap ourselves by raising ourselves up to heaven to reach Him. So it is necessary for God to come to us. But run to us? That’s something that a father just doesn’t do in the middle eastern cultures.
And while I love the idea that God, in Jesus, stooped so low as to come to us, Jesus also plainly encourages us to “SEEK and ye shall find…” Elsewhere, we’re told that if we seek God with all our heart, that He will be found. I find great comfort in that – sort of. The question is: how do I know when I’m seeking him with ALL my heart? I can easily deceive myself.
In Hearing God, Dallas Willard talks about our role in seeking God: “Generally speaking, God will not compete for our attention. Occasionally, a Saul gets knocked to the ground and so on, but we should expect that in most cases God will NOT run over us. We must be open to the possibility of God’s addressing us in whatever way he chooses, or else we may walk right past a burning bush instead of saying, as Moses did, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why they bush is not burned up…The reality of God’s voice does not make seeking for it unnecessary. When I seek for something, I look for it everywhere. It is when we seek God earnestly, prepared to go out of our way to examine anything that might be his overture toward us – including the most obvious things like Bible verses or our own thoughts – that he promises to be found (Jer. 29:13). But we will be able to seek Him only if we honestly believe that he might explicitly address us in ways suitable to his purposes in our lives.”
I fear that many times I’m far too lazy. I want God to do all the work. And in a sense, He has. But we must still seek Him while He may be found. And if we do, it is then that I believe He runs to meet us.
PRAYER: Give us hearts and energy to seek you early in the morning, at noontime, at night, and always. May we want You more than anything! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>