January 25, 2012

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

This is an enormously comforting verse, but it carries a condition that is often overlooked. A lot of “God seekers” are either casual or merely curious in their search. That won’t get you to the Creator! The truth behind this verse is perhaps the major reason God allows trials in our lives. If we never feel we are in trouble, why would we seek a Savior? The fact of the matter is, we are all sinners in need of salvation whether we realize it or not. The devil does all he can to blind people to that reality, but God in His mercy allows things in our lives to wake us up to reality so that we will seek Him. It doesn’t have to be a crisis; some people seem to be blessed with a desire to seek God. However, all too many people just can’t be bothered with “religion business,” and they shut it out as quickly and thoroughly as they can. They have no idea that they’re sealing their own doom! However, anyone reading this would not fit into that category. God indeed responds to those who cry out to Him, who are willing to let go of whatever else they have been clinging to in order to find Him. It’s like Jesus’ parable of the Pearl of Great Price; finding God and being in right relationship with Him is worth more than everything else put together. (Matthew 13:44-46)

I was raised with this as a core value in our family, but I can’t say I’ve always lived by it. Far too often I have taken God for granted, tacking him onto “my” life rather than recognizing that Christ is my life. (John 1:4, etc.) That’s certainly no way to grow in relationship with Him! Because I had academic knowledge of the Bible, I thought I knew God, but as came out just yesterday, knowing about someone is not the same as knowing them. God in His mercy has allowed various things into my life that have nudged me to seek Him, to cry out to Him. Thankfully it hasn’t taken anything as severe as the loss of a child, though I know of several people who have become very close to God through precisely that circumstance. I need to remember my own weakness even as I urge others to turn to the only one who is strong, to seek Him with their whole hearts, because He will definitely allow Himself to be found by them.

Father, thank You for the privilege of recommending You to others. Thank you for that man at the mental hospital yesterday who wanted to know why I was pushing a foreign God on the Japanese, who already have gods. Thank You for the clear witness You allowed me to give in response, and for how it seemed to impact him and others who were listening. I pray that not only those men in the mental hospital but everyone to whom I minister would indeed seek You with their whole hearts, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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