Ask, and it shall be given you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)
Let’s face it:. Everyone is seeking something.
But not everyone is seeking what they want from God, or seeking it in a way, that they shall receive it from God, or in a way that will progress their relationship with God forward.
Some people know what they’re seeking and they are seeking it in the light. Some people don’t know what they are seeking and we would call this “searching in the dark.” But the fact of the matter is everyone is seeking something. We can call it “fulfillment”. Enlightenment. Revelation. Truth. Reason. Pleasure. Reality. or god. We can call it living life to the fullest, or whatever new catchphrase is popular at the time. But it’s all really about getting something we think we need to enjoy life.
And most everyone is seeking someone to lead them. Someone they can trust. Someone they can believe in. Someone that is reliable. Someone that will care for them. Someone that will protect them. This is only natural, and should not be seen as weakness, or frailty, it is a real human need.
But many people get in trouble, because they are easily deceived, easily lied to, easily duped into believing in someone who does not deserve their trust. Do you know anyone like this? Have you been someone like this before? Have you been lied to, burned, take advantage of, trusted someone to lead you that I actually stole from you and dishonored your trust? That is a subject of grief and sorrow. And it is inevitable and predictable for the majority of people on the earth. Especially for those who do not know how to obtain the intimate and holy trust in God.
Unfortunately, many people who have sought God have been greatly disappointed. As a result many blame God for the problems they have experienced, and the abuses they have received at the hands of men, and they believe it, or attribute it to being God’s fault. These people have my sympathy to a certain degree. But to be honest many people set themselves up for failure before they even begin to pursue a relationship with God. Why is that? Because they are pursuing a god created in their own image (a god of their own imagination), made in their own likeness. Anyone who does this will be sorely disappointed. That is a guarantee. All may seem well and good, and feel like a bed of roses in the beginning, but the end will be devastating.
The word of God commands us to seek Him, not our own idolatrous image of him. To do that (create a false image) is a breach of the covenant he has given us. As a result we are doomed to fail in our relationship with him–Under such circumstances, we cannot help but feel defeated, discouraged, and deceived even by God. Can you see the problem? If you can see the problem, Then you have a chance at pursuing the solution.
Everyone is seeking something. Even God is seeking something and someone, and that someone just so happens to be you; That some thing happens to be righteousness. God has gone to great lengths and great measures in order to preserve for you his testimony of his people and his experience with them, so that you might learn everything you can, to be able to put your trust in him fully.
Please check out this subject as thoroughly as you can. It will reward you many times over if you lay a solid foundation for your relationship with God. If you lay a cracked, broken, faulty, weak, or in any way frail foundation for your relationship with God, you will set yourself up for failure. And on the day it fails, which it will, you will try to blame God for the for the failure, that is only human nature, but it will do you no good. And it will only further harm your relationship with God, and any hope you have for the future. As a result, it will turn into addictions, pleasures, hypocrisy, anger, and distractions from the real pain you are suffering. Most likely you will drink more than you should, fantasize about sex more than you should, dream about traveling free, or about becoming famous, or having lots of money, or any number of temporal pursuits that will not bring you into the place of real joy and real happiness with God and your fellow man for eternity.
Matthew 7:7-12 (KJV) 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Here’s one key scripture that outlines the actual plan of action to develop a strong relationship with God.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to
- seek the law of the LORD [listen, learn, READ, Study, meditate, memorize], and
- to do it, and [to observe it, keep it, abide in it, obey it, LIVE it out daily]
- to teach it in Israel statutes and judgments.
Here is another scripture passage that is a classical layout of: how, when, why, why, who, where, we need to be to see him and find him
Isaiah 55:6-11 (KJV)
6 Seek ye the LORD, while he may be found, [WHEN] [this declares that he may not always be found, there will be circumstances, and times, and situations, where he may not be found, it is his grace that calls us to seek him now while he can be found if we would only seek Him according to the way he has declared as acceptable to him.]
call ye upon him while he is near: [WHEN WHO WHERE]
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, [HOW WHO]
and the unrighteous man his thoughts: [HOW WHO]
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; [WHAT HOW WHY]
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. [WHY]
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, [WHAT WHO]
neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. [WHY]
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down,
and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither,
but watereth the earth,
and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Here’s some further background reading:
Of course there are many many more examples of seeking the Lord in the Scriptures, so only a few key examples are listed below.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV) 10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
History fully confirms that, the above prophecy to the people of Israel, is exactly what happened. It is an observable, and reliable message.
2 Chronicles 15:1-12 (NIV) 1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple. 9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the LORD seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul.
1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV) 9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
Leviticus 19:31 (KJV) 31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Numbers 15:38-41 (KJV) 38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 4:29-35 (KJV) 29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; 31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. 32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? 33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
1 Chronicles 16:9-22 (KJV)
9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him,
talk ye of all his wondrous works.
10 Glory ye in his holy name:
let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
11 Seek the LORD and his strength,
seek his face continually.
12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done,
his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
13 O ye seed of Israel his servant,
ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant;
the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
16 Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham,
and of his oath unto Isaac;
17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law,
and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan,
the lot of your inheritance;
19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.
20 And when they went from nation to nation,
and from one kingdom to another people;
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong:
yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed,
and do my prophets no harm.
Proverbs 28:4-7 (KJV) 4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked:
but such as keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment:
but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness,
than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son:
but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Psalms 105:1-5 (KJV) 1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name:
make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:
talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name:
let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
4 Seek the LORD, and his strength:
seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done;
his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
Below is a unique story that requires faith in the personality, and character, and nature, of the God and father of the children of Israel.
Of course this proverb would be necessary to understand in order to even attempt to believe the story below:
Evil men understand not judgment:
but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
2 Chronicles 20:1-30 (KJV) 1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. 10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. 13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. 18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. 19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. 24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. 26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. 29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.