One thing I’m glad everyone is coming to know and see concerning God is that he is a person – not an idea, not the universe, not your supreme or higher self (as some people now believe), not an imaginary friend, and certainly not your adversary – a person who is God. And as a person it means he has feelings and desires, can get excited (Luke 15:7) and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). This opens us up to a lot of possibilities in/with God – scriptures like Hebrews 4:15 begin to make clearer sense to us, “Our Supreme Priest can indeed [LIT] compassionately deal with us who tend to sin easily, because he also was tempted to sin in every way that we are tempted to sin, and yet he did not sin.” (T4T). The book of Hebrews paints a picture of God that can be seen clearly in the life of Christ who is the ‘express image of his person’ (as the writer of Hebrews puts it in Hebrews 1:3) and can be described in one word as PASSIONATE. The writer of Hebrew speaks profoundly about the passion of God to be reconciled to us, and this is our greatest satisfaction, whether we know it or not.
What would God want with you? I’ve had to be silent many times in a discussion about morality when I realize that an incomplete answer will do more harm than good to the person asking, especially when that person is more interested in pointing out why he/she is right rather than what makes me think I am right. I’ll do my best to provide sufficient answers here concerning this issue, and if I should fail in this article, you are free to write me here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God’s search for you is not about morality, it is more than that. I think we have spent too many centuries on that topic, deciding what is moral and amoral, deciding what the standard should be, and quitting it all together to do whatever is convenient for ourselves in the end. If I tell you “I am interested in you” what I mean would be subject to my own interpretations, not yours. Anything but my own interpretation of what I mean would be a misunderstanding – the same thing goes for God. The only way to truly know what God wants is to hear it from Him. Yes, I just said that and it’s possible in so many ways – both directly from him and indirectly but ultimately you’ll know when you’ve met with/heard from God. I’m confident in saying this because I know, but you have no reason to believe me so I’ll show you what Jesus says in John 7:16-17, “…My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Let me be clear, I am not speaking of myself but of God’s will; if you truly seek to do it you will know when you find it. This is a beautiful assurance, but how do we know?
- John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”
- John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove (convince, refute, confute, bring to light, to expose) the world of sin…” so they can know what is wrong and repent from it, “…of righteousness…” so they can live right because I intercede for them, “…and of judgement.” (Emphasis added).
- John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
God’s search for you is to bring you back to him, to establish you in him, and for you to be everything he has made you to be – sons and daughters, carriers of his Spirit and nature, proof of his goodness and love, of grace and mercy. He wants to crown you with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost because that is what his kingdom is about (Romans 14:17).
All through the scriptures if there is one thing we can always find God doing it is searching for man(kind). This search began the moment the first man fell from grace and hid from the presence of God (Genesis 3:8-9). Like Adam, a lot of us still hide from God, and just like the figs we try but fail to give true meaning to our existence. But God is not tired of seeking us out for a better offer. His voice is wisdom crying out in the streets, if we listen we’ll find peace in our storms, he’ll shield us from the depressing darkness surrounding our lives, we’ll find hope in his promises and be absolutely certain about our future no matter the crisis surrounding our lives.
Every time God finds a son/daughter return to him, Jesus compared it to a woman searching for a missing piece of silver and who was not ready to stop until she found it; a man searching for one of his sheep and leaving the other ninety-nine in safety to search until it was found, and rejoiced greatly with friends, family, and well-wishers that his lost sheep had been found. You see one particular thing I have not emphasized in these parables is the number – Jesus used ninety-nine against the one that was lost. I mean, if you found someone who had a hundred dollars crying seriously over one dollar that was missing from it, (forget Nigeria’s economy for now), you’ll have to assume that the entire money being complete is very important to them, and if you find them driven to the point of death for it? That’s what God’s great search for you feels like, you just don’t see it. He’s desperate to secure you in his eternal embrace. He’s desperate for you to see the bigger picture of your life because he knows that you cannot afford to lose it, again. Your return to God has been taken care of, Jesus is the way – your faith in him, not your obedience to the law. We are justified in him and by him, not by efforts – “…there is none righteous, no, not one.” Roman 3:10, BUT “…the just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV.
If the way has been paved, there should be nothing keeping you back but your own desires.
Sometimes I think about it, maybe Jesus really looked like a madman. I mean, Isaiah told us “…he hath no form of comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” we see the Jews also accusing him of having the spirit of a devil, maybe it was the looks and not just the things he said. From the description, John the baptizer seems to be someone stuck in the stone age, but what drove these men was not the need for religion but for true salvation. I believe it’s always critical to look closely at how situations present themselves to draw a conclusion; and so we see Jesus, on the last day of a great feast where there’s so much food and drink that non should have left hungry or thirsty, he reveals himself with a shout, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink!” Someone (like Peter or Philip) would have said, “When did he begin to serve wine?” or “Master wants us to serve wine”, others might have thought to themselves, “Even the great rabbi is drunk.” But he could see their souls like he can see yours, the food and drinks did not satisfy their true desires, so he offered them wine without a price – he’s making the same offer to you.
Let’s address another serious issue here, election. Someone might ask, “Has it not all been determined already? Those who belong to God and those who do not?” Let me start by saying that if God decided to save us by his divine election, FIRST, he is still just and wise in doing so. Why? Because non is righteous. If a king decides to pardon one criminal over another it does not make him the cause of the prisoner’s crime.
Secondly, it is through foreknowledge. And what that tells us is NOT to be without eternal hope but the opposite. What it tells us is that the invitation is to you also if you desire it. Jesus chose twelve apostles, they all had a role to play in the fulfillment of his ministry but they did not all believe in him at the same time. Even though they followed him, sometimes they still doubted. God compelled no one to believe or to doubt, their desires drove them each to do as they did, and Judas chose silver. He preferred silver and gold every time. If he had truly believed that Jesus was going to prepare a place for him in his Father’s house – full of gold and better things, he would not have betrayed his Lord. Election gives us the assurance that so long as we desire to believe and to do God’s will, we will never be lost. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:39-40, KJV.
Another reason some do not choose God is that they think that their interests and God’s interests are conflicting. I think it depends on how you see it. Maybe you feel that if you are in God there are too many things you cannot do, let me ask a question, be truthful to yourself, are those things worth dying for? Can you sacrifice all things precious to you for those things you think God is depriving you of? Let’s start with pleasures like sex (outside marriage), wealth, wild living, and the sort; will you gamble with your life, say there is a fifty percent chance you’ll die the moment you get any of those things? Let’s talk about your ambitions now. Who told you God doesn’t want you to be great? How can you be his image and not reflect greatness, the problem is not ‘what God wants vs what I want’ the problem is ‘how we want what we want’. John Piper said, “The problem of sin is not the absence of light, but that men loved the dark.”
Let’s talk about the prodigal son. The father never had a problem giving him everything he wanted, he just never wanted him far away from home. He wasted his life and the resources he had gotten from his father, but the father still gave him his signet ring, which is far more wealth than he had gotten before. The lesson in that story is not the resources, it is the return home.
God is not petty, he gives big dreams to his children, not ambitions. Ambition is cheap, he changes your ambition to a vision. True greatness does not stem from ambition but from vision, and no vision is small because it’s no longer about you. He changed Abraham’s name from Abram (father) to Abraham (father of nations) and said, “…in thee shall all nations shall be blessed.” Galatians 3:8. Understand what God’s plan for you is and trust him.
It’s interesting to feel free and be in freedom, but what we fail to realize is that we are slaves to the things we do. And because of that, what we do, and the choices we make are of great importance otherwise in seeking freedom you become slaves. But we are made free by becoming the right kind of ‘slaves’, not to sin but to righteousness. Since you now desire God, if you love him instead of the world you’ll find your life more peaceful, free, and joyful.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44, KJV.
This is not a field with money buried in it, the story would not make sense if it was, I mean why not just take the treasure and go your way, the owner would never know anyway. The field was a mine of treasure, that’s how God’s kingdom is. The prodigal son thought if he had at least half of all his father’s wealth he would be fine, that was treasure enough indeed, but staying with his father gave him the entire treasure mine (the ring and the right to be a son), unfortunately, the older son did not realize either that he could have so much satisfaction from his father. God is offering you himself, he seeks you with all his mighty power to love, provide, and protect, both here and in eternity.
I’ll end with a famous quote by John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” To rephrase, “our lives become full of God’s glory (righteousness, peace, joy, love, hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness,…) when we begin to seek our satisfaction in him.”
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