This year my church adopted the annual theme “What Are You Seeking?” Now that it’s September, I’m finally getting around to preaching on the theme, and thus also blogging on the theme.
Over the next few months I’ll be looking at Biblical “seekers”. This cast of characters all share a restless spirit of discontent. In some instances these people demonstrate a ‘holy discontent’. In other cases we’ll look at examples of people reaching for forbidden fruit.
The urge to seek, to keep moving forward, seems built into the core of human nature. From the beginning of Biblical history we find Adam and Eve seeking, and reaching, for more than they had… even when they had everything.
Hebrews 11:9-10 describes Abraham, “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents… For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
Verses 15-16 expand this thought, “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one.”
It appears to me that the author of Hebrews is attributing some specific thoughts to Abraham that he may not have had. Concepts of life after death steadily evolve throughout the Bible. The quest for a heavenly country seems to come from a time period well after Abraham. However, Abraham’s motivation to leave Ur and travel to Canaan certainly reflects a greater desire to pursue God than material comfort. This urge for fellowship with God is what Hebrews commends.
At first glance, Abraham was obsessed with finding a new land. He left all that was familiar and traveled thousands of miles seeking it. While he traveled up and down the land of Canaan and saw all there was to see, the promised land never belonged to Abraham.
On one level, Abraham spent his life window shopping.
Over time, while Abraham was seeking a new country, he stumbled upon a new world. He discovered God’s world: Yahweh’s reality. Once he caught a glimpse of God he was hooked. He traveled up and down Canaan, not seeking a land, but faithfully pursuing the God who had revealed himself to Abraham.
Christians face the temptation to conclude our pursuit of God the moment we’re saved. Many of us find ourselves wrestling with the question, “I sought and found God. Now what?”
I believe the answer is to keep seeking God. Seeking is built into the core of human nature. Even when we accept our need of God’s presence in our lives, our quest to continue to grow into his image never ends.
We’re not seeking a country. We long for God.
We seek for earth to reflect heaven: a New World.
We seek for our lives to reflect God.
Or do we?
I wonder how often we say that we’re seeking, when really we’re wishing. Just as Abraham lived in tents waiting for his arrival at the city of God, seeking requires movement. Seeking requires action. Seeking God demands that we follow Jesus, that we allow ourselves to be molded and shaped by the Holy Spirit.
Wishing, on the other hand, requires only that we we dream.
Dreaming works best when we’re still. Don’t move. Don’t look. Just sit… and wish.
As you consider your past 7 days, were you a seeker, or a dreamer?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Jesus