In the middle of his speech in Athens, Paul, talking about God as the Creator of all mankind, said, ‘God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.’ (Acts 17:27) Seeking God is part of our spiritual journey; as Jesus reminded us, ‘seek and you will find.’ (Matt 7:7) That seeking may well feel like groping or fumbling in the dark, but it indicates both determination and persistence.
Moses told us that we would find God ‘if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul’ (Deut 4:29; see also Jer 29:13) and the psalmist reminds us that the Lord has never forsaken those who seek Him. (Ps 9:10)
To seek God is to put Him before all other things; it requires a determined heart and a steadfastness of purpose. So often in the Psalms, we see people whose longing for God becomes their heart’s cry: ‘My heart says of You, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ (Ps 27:8) or ‘You, God, are my God; earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.’ (Ps 63:1) We catch a glimpse of this earnest seeking in the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus to heal her daughter. When Jesus apparently rebuffed her advances because she was not of the Jewish faith, she said, ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table’ (Matt 15:27) and was subsequently commended by Jesus for her great faith. (Matt 15:28) She received her heart’s cry (the healing of her daughter), in part because of her persistence and earnest seeking.
Jesus demonstrates to us the importance of right priorities in our lives when He told us, ‘I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.’ (John 5:30) He came to seek and to save all who were lost (Luke 19:10), and his determination in seeking us out when we were sinners and wanted nothing to do with God gives us a glimpse into the kind of persistence and determination which has to become part of our pursuit of God. To seek God is our goal and desire… and we know that those who earnestly seek Him – with determination, refusing to be cowed by the dark night of the soul or the apparent silence of heaven at times – will be rewarded by Him. (Heb 11:6) Zephaniah urges us to seek righteousness and humility (Zeph 2:3), and as we seek God with all our hearts, we will surely find Him to be our satisfaction and delight.