The Spiritual Discipline of Seeking
Seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
— Deuteronomy 4.29
Sometimes, I get the feeling that the church in general has stopped seeking God and started only seeking answers to “problems.” For instance, we know that the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but instead of focusing on the Spirit, we seek the fruit. We reduce the Spirit to a means to an end rather than the end Itself. It’s like we’ve learned all the right answers on a math test without having to do the work to solve the problems for ourselves. It makes us no more intelligent or ready to put a skill into practice when we have an answer without a personal understanding of how it works.
It is in the deeply personal and intimate activity of Seeking that our identity and character are discovered, recovered, and refined. The process of seeking is also where a life of Relationship lives; not so much in finding, but in seeking.
In truth, the entire Christian journey could be summarized as a devotion to seeking, not finding or knowing. Our job is seeking and God’s is the finding! The earliest scriptures instructed us, “Seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” And this is not a one-time event! So many times we reduce God down to an idea of god. We think that once we capture the right idea, we will have God. This is so painfully deceptive. It wouldn’t work in a marriage to reduce your spouse in such a way and it won’t work in a true relationship with God either. God is bigger than any and every idea, location, denomination, and theology.
Just because we are given a wonderful perception does not mean we should stop seeking God! Jesus himself tells us, “The one who seeks finds.” We’re given a faith that tells us God is all and in all and over all, yet we compartmentalize our seeking to certain areas of formality, crisis, or behavior. The whole of our lives, from every area of normalcy to those of extreme significance, should be given room for seeking God’s presence and participation. We see so little of God in our lives and in the lives of those around us only because we do not implement any effort in finding him. Some Christians become content with only seeing God in an idea of the afterlife, resulting in a religious and yet Godless life.
Our minds are crowded with the idea that we are right, we see everything there is to see, and we know how things should be. There is no room in them for seeking God. What if we took Jesus’ instruction to deny ourselves and follow him to this level? We'd give our minds a break from the over-stimulation of opinions and perceptions. By doing this we're creating space in our crowded minds for a seeking of God’s presence in all and through all. Life becomes much fuller and abundant this way.