A couple of Sundays ago, I preached on the topic “Walk in the freedom of Christ”. In the message, I called on those who are not Christians to “seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Indeed, this is an opportune time and place for non-Christians in Singapore to seek God with the freedoms they have here – the easy accessibility to the Bible through the internet and the freedom and openness of religious tolerance.
Seeking the Lord can also apply to Christians. We do not seek the Lord again for salvation, but we should continually seek the Lord for our sanctification. Seeking the Lord here means seeking His presence. But, you may ask, as a Christian, “Isn’t God’s presence always with His children?”
In one sense, God’s presence is always with us because of His covenantal promise. “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28 :20). But there is another sense in which God’s presence is not always with us, which is the reason the Bible repeatedly calls us to “seek the Lord”. There are times when we grow slack and have no thought of him. As a result, we cannot sense his presence. This is especially so when we allow sin to overshadow His presence in our lives.
Seeking the Lord must therefore be a continual exercise in our lives, to enjoy the continual consciousness of His greatness, goodness and faithfulness. The Bible says that seeking the Lord is fixing the mind and heart on God (1 Chronicles 22:19). It is a conscious choice. Practically, we can seek God through nature as His creations manifest His glory. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). We can also find God through His word as He reveals himself in his word to us and also through the graces in other people. In other words, we can seek God in all our experiences through the means of his revelation.
However, there are also stumbling blocks that we must be careful to avoid in order to see him clearly and be in the light of his presence. The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life are powerful influences that can redirect our gaze away from the Lord. The Bible warns us not to fall in love with the world and its carnal desires, for they do not come from God. You cannot serve God and Mammon (Matt 6:24, KJV).
Seeking the Lord takes humility and faith. When we come before His holy presence, we see our wretchedness: “Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). We are humbled to the point that we ‘take the sandals off our feet’ and worship Him. By faith, we acknowledge him as God of all (Exodus 3:5, Joshua 5:15). Conversely, the proud person does not even seek God. “In the pride of his face, the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God” (Psalm 10:4).
A wonderful promise awaits those who seek the Lord. “If you seek Him, He will be found by you” (1Chronicles 28:9), and the greatest thing is that when you seek the Lord, you will find that He himself is your exceedingly great reward. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV). So, seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. - Dn Lee Pak Choon