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The Wisdom of Seeking God

TJ Web O3For me, the transition from one year to the next is a good moment to look back – and give thanks; to look ahead – and prepare for what God has for us in the new year.

As we take a moment to reflect on 2011, one observation I make about every year, is that every year is a mixture – in each year there are good bits and bad bits, challenges and blessings. It will be another year of life:  victory and celebration, tragedy and turmoil.  There will be tokens of God’s common grace, as well as examples of the consequences of sin.

  • Somewhere in the world, there will be conflict.
  • Somewhere in the world, a business will succeed and another will fail.
  • Some families will experience the beauty of a baby being born, others the death of beloved family member.

In the midst of a world that sometimes seems out of control, God is inviting us to a life of eternal substance.  We can discover this life through the WISDOM of SEEKING GOD.

One of the most interesting set of characters in the Bible are the Wise Men who arrived to worship Jesus some time after the Nativity events.  They travelled some great distance because they thought they saw the sign of a newborn King in the sky.   In the Greek text they are called magoi – often translated as wise men.  Many scholars think they were priests from Persia, possibly from the Zoroastrian religion.

We don’t know for sure.  We don’t know exactly how many there were or exactly where they were from. The key to understanding the Magi isn’t in trying to decipher what the text doesn’t say, but what it does say.  And what it tells us is that these MAGI were seeking the new born King.

They were God seekers.  They dropped whatever it was they had been doing to seek God.  We don’t all have the luxury of dropping everything – but we can walk in the wisdom of the Wise Men and SEEK GOD, even in the midst of our usually busy, often messed-up, modern lives.

THE BIBLE has a lot to say about seeking God. The Bible gives us some very clear directions – some specific instructions – on what it means to seek god and how to go about it.  To put this in context:  We are launching into a new year.  I believe this can be a year of blessing, a year of growth, a year of increase, a year in which God’s purposes break into your life, into your family, into our church.  I believe that God DOES have good things in store for us this year.  But I believe that GOD wants us to seek Him.

Let’s consider a few of the instructions God gives us about seeking Him. 

1.  Seek God Whole-heartedly

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29

 Whole-hearted seeking of God means to make this the dominant priority of your life.

2.  Seek God Earnestly

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; 
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1 

 Earnestly seeking God means to treat this like serious business.  It’s important. 

3.  Seek God Continually 

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;  Isaiah 55:6

Continually seeking God means to build our lives in a God-oriented direction – daily, not waiting until things are bad before we call on Him.


 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”  Psalm 27:8 

Seeking God personally is to seek Him for who He is, and not what we can get from Him.  Yes – it’s important to let our requests be known to Him – but in seeking his face, we are seeking to walk in his presence, setting our hearts and minds on God. 

Walking with God – seeking Him – is a process.  Perhaps you’re like me and you don’t like the idea of process.  I’ve grown up with microwaves and I like push button solutions:

  • Push-button problem solving
  • Push-button relationships
  • Push-button conflict resolution

Seeking God, however, is a matter of walking with Him.  Practically, it means that we seek Him in his Word and in prayer.   When we read the Bible, we are feeding our spirit, and our mind is being washed with God’s Word.  We are interacting with the very thoughts of God.  When we pray, we are bearing our soul to God.  Praying with our minds, and with our spirit – we pray because we have a need to commune with God – not only to lay before Him the burdens of our soul, BUT to enjoy his presence, just to be with him.

Think about these wise men for just a moment. For them seeking God wasn’t easy.  They didn’t have a Bible; they had to search the sky to figure this out.  They travelled a way.

And what did they do when they got there?

Verse 11:  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.

They travelled all that way – just to worship.  It reminds me of the story of the woman who poured the costly ointment on Jesus’ feet.  Someone said – you could have sold that, and the money could have bee given to the poor.

These Persian Wise Men could have been teaching literacy in Madagascar.  But they understood something that only a few people on the earth at that time understood.  There’s no greater human pursuit than worshipping Jesus.  As the Westminster Confession says – The chief end of man – his primary purpose - is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.  These Wise men were enjoying – and glorifying – as they worshipped. 

So, I commend these Wise Men to you as a model for seeking God:

1.  Seek God Whole-heartedly

2.  Seek God Earnestly

3.  Seek God Continually

4.  Seek God Personally

In closing, I want to leave you with a POWER PROMISE about seeking God.  This whole thing about seeking God – it’s not something to be embraced as a duty – but as a delight.  Yes, we NEED to seek Him.  But it’s more accurate to say we GET to seek Him.

Listen to Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6:

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 

God rewards those who seek Him.  And He wants you to BELIEVE that He rewards those who seek Him.


God has a BIG REWARD for you in 2012.  That reward comes from seeking Him.  The reward of seeking GOD – is GOD HIMSELF.  We Get God!!!  When you understand that you get God when you seek Him – you really do drop everything else.  These wise men threw down these costly gifts – gold, frankincense, myrrh.  Those things were worth a whole lot of money.  But they were the ones who came out better in the end.  They went back richer – because they met Jesus.  They went back fuller – because they had given themselves away in worship.

God is inviting us to make this year 2012 – the year that we seek God.



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