The simplest and most compelling reason for seeking God

Here are two sections by E. Stanley Jones from a daily devotional book I highly recommend.  I have followed them with my own conclusion.

Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior (Isaiah 45:15 NRSV).

Here is the hidden God, like the hidden thought…we cannot know what he is like unless he communicates himself through a word.
If you say, “I can know God in my heart intuitively and immediately, without the mediation of a word,”  then the answer is: “But your ‘heart’ then becomes the medium of communication and knowing the heart as you do with its sin and crosscurrents and cross-conceptions you know it is a very unsafe medium for the revelation of God.”
God must reveal himself.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).

Here is the hidden God and he expresses himself through the Word…
Jesus is called the Word because the word is the expression of the hidden thought.  Unless I put my thought into words you cannot understand it.  Here is God; we sense his presence, but he is Spirit, hence hidden.  We want to know what he is like—not in omnipotence, nor in omniscience, nor in omnipresence; a revelation of these would do little or no good, but we would know his character, for what he is like in character, we, his children, must be.   So the Hidden Thought—God—becomes the Revealed Word—Christ.   (365 Days with E. Stanley Jones, Mary Ruth Howes, editor, Dimensions for Living Nashville, 2000, pp. 74,75)

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known (John 1:18 NIV).

I was impressed as I read these that spending time in God’s Word, accompanied by a prayer that the Holy Spirit would teach us, is an essential part of seeking God.   Christians do not meditate with empty minds, but with thoughts shaped by God’s Word.   The still-small inner voice of the Holy Spirit most often uses the written revelation, the record of Jesus’ words and presence, to guide us and speak to us.    

What an incentive to our discipline to seek God.  The situation turns out to be so simple—too simple.  Unless we spend time with God in God’s Word and in prayer, we will never really know God.   We would prefer a fast-food shortcut, a spoon-fed alternative, an easier way but there are none. But the truly good news is that God desires that we discover him!  And he has provided a means for us to begin. 

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near (Isa 55:6 NIV).

 

Encouragements for Seeking God – Reaching for Higher Thoughts and Ways

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa 55:8-9 NIV
How clear this passage is as to one of the major reasons that we must take time to seek the Lord; to spend time in devotional exercises that focus our thoughts on Jesus and enrich our thinking with his Holy Words.    God’s thinking and his ways are described as higher, so ours our lower.  We need devoted hours with God!  Otherwise the habits of our mind, the ideas we develop we can rise no higher than our own carnal thoughts.  Our minds will remain on earthly things. Our habits of life will find no higher plane that that of the world around us.  Does not Paul warn us that the end of that kind of thinking is death (Phil 3:19; Rom. 8:5,6)?   But what possibilities await on the other side of this comparison!  When we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit will bring glory to Jesus by “taking from what is mine and making it known to you (John 16:14).   We are given his higher thoughts.   Our brains can become increasingly shaped by them and as a result our actions more and more reflect that heavenly shaping.   It is the only way we can walk worthy of the heavenly citizenship we hold.  Oh how much we need our personal and collective time with God!     By Pastor Kelvin Jones

Encouragements For Seeking God — We Need Jesus’ Companionship

 A classic devotional from Charles Spurgeon on why we need to spend time  with God    
“Abide in Me.” John 15:4

Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the wormwood of woe, or the  surfeit of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one, and over-fullness from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary importance whether you live on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms. Let nothing keep you from that hallowed time alone with God, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to THE WELL-BELOVED. Be not content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain His company, for only in His presence do you have either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. You have a  difficult road before you: see, O traveller to heaven, that you go not without your guide. You must pass through the fiery furnace; but enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have the Son of God as your companion.

Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening – March 9 PM  (edited into modern English by Kelvin Jones)

Praying Always (Eph. 6:18)

This was a real encouragement for prayer taken from the devotional in my computer Bible software for last Saturday.  I just haven’t had a chance to blog it until today. 

“Praying always.”
Ephesians 6:18

What multitudes of prayers we have put up from the first moment when we learned to pray. Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us, and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then we had more prayers for ourselves. We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of temptation, for help in the time of duty, and for succour in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything. Bear witness, children of God, you have never been able to get anything for your souls elsewhere. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water of which it has drank has flowed from the living rock—Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been a pensioner upon the daily bounty of God; and hence your prayers have ascended to heaven for a range of spiritual mercies all but infinite. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless. Then have you not cause to say, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication”? For as your prayers have been many, so also have been God’s answers to them. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you, and helped you, even when you dishonoured Him by trembling and doubting at the mercy-seat. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has thus graciously heard your poor weak prayers. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

From Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening Feb. 6 AM