What are you looking for?
To look for something or to pursue after something requires us to turn away from something else
My Uncle Cyril was a man who had a memory like a steel trap – he was forever quoting favourite Bible verses, quotes, and poetry (I attribute my love of Robert Service to him). On one occasion when a man jogged by us, Uncle Cyril commented, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth,” which is reference to Proverbs 28:1.
Our lives are filled with pursuits, whether they are of family, success, health, or wealth (not necessarily in that order). What are we hoping to find in our pursuits? For some, it’s a longing for peace, contentment, and some kind of satisfaction or happiness; for others it could be recognition, respect, or a sense of belonging and self-discovery. When our pursuit is after anything other than God, the longing will remain and no amount of family, success, health, or wealth will ever satisfy. As Tozer said, “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.”
Pursuit of God is not for the faint of heart
The pursuit of God is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for those who are more interested in self-help and self care than they are the death of self and life in Christ. An excellent example of this is Solomon. For a time he sought after God, and when God granted him anything in the world, Solomon asked for wisdom. When Solomon stopped seeking after God and started seeking after self-satisfaction, his life went off the rails.
Solomon’s father David did just the opposite. David’s life certainly was not perfect, and history shows there were definitely times when he pursued after his flesh rather than pursuing God, but still David is considered a man after God’s own heart. “Seek the LORD and his strength,” David exhorted in 1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek his face continually.” David, in the midst of all his screw-ups and shortcomings, still remembered that his pursuit of God was the most important thing. Can the same be said of us?
Seek the Lord first
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;” Christ Himself said in Matthew 6:33, “and all these things shall be added unto you.” By “all these things”, our Lord refers to our lives and everything contained therein, from food and clothing to shelter and protection. Notice how He said, “seek ye first.” Is it wrong to seek after success? Not necessarily, but when we don’t put our pursuit of God before our earthly passions, we’re headed for trouble.
To look for something or to pursue after something requires us to turn away from something else. Seeking God requires us to turn to Him, and that means turning away from anything that could get in the way. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).