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Must a Man Seek God?

Should a man seek God? Many men and women who if you were to ask them if they believed there is a
supreme being we call God would answer in the affirmative and yet they feel no need to seek God. With
them God is God and he is just and good and so he will save them as long as they live what they consider
to be a reasonably good life (reasonably good by their own personal standards and society's standard).
They do not concern themselves with reading or studying the Bible, with worship, or obedience to God's
specific commandments.

Whether they realize it or not this approach to salvation is an attempt to be saved by the works of man – it
is an attempt to work your way to heaven based on personal goodness. It reminds me of Rom. 10:3, "For
they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not
submitted to the righteousness of God." (NKJV) It attempts to make God conform to man's judgments
rather than man conform to God's judgments. Man ends up judging God rather than God judging man.
God, if you are really good you will save me is the idea. If you don't you are not good. I, a man, get to
judge you, God, as to your goodness.

The reality is it does not work that way. Man does not get to pass judgment on God nor bully God into
saving him. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,' says the Lord. 'For 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 NKJV) God will remain God and you and I will remain flesh and blood, just
human beings who are here but for a short while on earth and then pass on into eternity over which God
also rules.

What does the Bible have to say about seeking God? It condemns those who fail to do so. Paul says,
"For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written:
'There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no,
not one.'" (Rom. 3:9-12 NKJV) Did you note there is none who seek after God in this passage and they
are all in sin?

David in Psalms 10:4 said, "The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of
his thoughts." (NKJV) I take David's statement where he says "God is in none of his thoughts" to mean
that such a man never considers God in anything he does. God is in none of his plans, is never given
consideration in any of the man's decision making, etc. Actually, we find such a man described by Jesus
in the New Testament in the parable of the rich man whose ground yielded such a plentiful crop that he
knew not what to do with it all as described in Luke 12:16-21.

This man decided to tear his old barns down, build bigger to store the crop, and then "eat, drink, and be
merry." (Luke 12:19 NKJV) God called him a fool (verse 20) and said his soul would be required of him
that very night. Jesus finished the parable by saying, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is
not rich toward God." (Luke 12:21 NKJV) This man had excluded thoughts of God from his life. There
was no seeking of God nor consideration of what God would have him to do under such circumstances
and certainly no thanksgiving to God for his good fortune.
I don't know whether you have ever given it any thought or not but there are only two classes of men –
those who seek God and those who do not. All mankind fits into one category or another. David said in
the Psalm quoted above that the wicked does not seek God. That necessarily means if a man is not a
seeker after God it puts him into the only other category that exists, that of the wicked who do not seek
God. If God is "a rewarder of those who diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6 NKJV) what then becomes of
the man who does not seek God at all?

Jesus sought God his father for he said, "I do not seek my own will but the will of the father who sent
me." (John 5:30 NKJV) This was just the opposite of the rich man who tore his barns down to build
bigger to hold his crop without seeking God's will in his life. One cannot seek God's will without seeking
God.

It is God's will for man that man seek him, all of mankind. James made that clear in reference to the
Gentiles by quoting the words of the prophets in Acts 15:15-17, "And with this the words of the prophets
agree, just as it is written: "After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has
fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord who does all these things.'" (NKJV) We
now live in that dispensation of time when all men may seek the Lord it being God's will that they do so.

A little later in Acts 17 Paul speaks of God as having made of one blood all men "so that they should seek
the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of
use." (Acts 17:28 NKJV) Why should we seek him? Paul says in the next verse, "For we are also his
offspring." (Acts 17:28 NKJV) God is truly man's father whether all men are willing to recognize him as
that or not. A man ought to seek his father had he not? (Yes, the devil can become one's father, John
8:44, but we enter the world as God's offspring. The devil did not bring us into the world.)

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalms 53:1 NKJV) Do you want to know what a fool
looks like? Find yourself such a man as God describes in this Psalm. Want to know what a fool does not
do? A fool does not seek God. If a man wants to be classed with what the Bible describes as the wicked
and fools then all that is needed is a failure to seek God.

You and I in the normal course of a week will meet up with any number of people who are totally
indifferent to God. They are not necessarily all unbelievers but they are at best indifferent toward God
and are not seeking him. They may be good men and women as the world measures such people but the
God who really runs their life is the God of self and the one that really makes the rules by which they live
and by which they determine what is right from what is wrong is themselves. They will judge God and
not the other way around.

Remember earlier when I quoted Paul from Acts 17 concerning seeking God? I said that the reason was
that we are God's offspring (Acts 17:28) and that a man ought to seek his father but the passage gives
another reason. What? God is going to "judge the world in righteousness." (Acts 17:31 NKJV) Men
must therefore repent. (Acts 17:30) The man who is unwilling to seek God will never repent, will thus be
condemned, and will find out first hand who is really in charge – God or man.

The Bible teaches us to seek in order to find (Matt. 7:7-8). One will never find God without looking for
him. True, many believe they know God who have not sought him and who live in disobedience to his
teachings and/or are indifferent toward them but the Bible condemns both disobedience and indifference.
What a man thinks he knows and what he knows are often two different things. How can you know God
when you never read nor study his word, when you don't even know what he has said?

Who is the man God commends? Jehu said, speaking on God's behalf of King Jehoshaphat of Judah,
"Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land,
and have prepared your heart to seek God." (2 Chron. 19:3 NKJV) King Jehoshaphat was commended
for having prepared his heart to do what? To seek God. God commends such a man.

Can a man find God if he seeks him? He can if he seeks with all his heart. Jeremiah, in writing to the
Jewish captives in Babylon, said, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel … And you will seek me
and find me, when you search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:4, 13 NKJV) David commanded the
people to "set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord you God." (1 Chron. 22:19 NKJV) God is not a
God that is hard to find or a God that does not want to be found but he does seek people who truly desire
to know him. He is not seeking for those with divided hearts toward him, half with him and half with
themselves or the world.

Jesus came into the world seeking us. "For the son of man has come to seek and to save that which was
lost." (Luke 19:10 NKJV) God calls all men by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). He is not willing that any
should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He desires that all men be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). God is not hiding or making
himself hard to find him if we really desire to find him. We will find him if we want to. However, a
person who is half heartedly seeking God is a person that in reality does not really want to find God.

Why would a man not want to find God or only half heartedly seek him? The answer is quite simple. By
its very nature the God-man relationship must be one where man must submit to God. Submission is the
roadblock for those determined to be their own decision makers and be their own boss.

Here is a description of the kind of personality who will find God. "O God, you are my God; early will I
seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you." (Psalms 63:1 NKJV) When we long for God
with all our being we will seek diligently and in seeking we shall find (God's promise – Matt. 7:7-8) and
in finding we shall be blessed.