In a recent (brief) study of “seeking”, I found that the NIV contains the word “seek”, or some derivative of the word, over 150 times.
The first time the word is encountered is as a negative admonition. Leviticus 19:18 says, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself.”
The very next occurrence of “seek” is found in Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
The writings in Chronicles (1Chron. 16:10, 11; 22:19; 28:9) continually encourage us to seek The Lord. The familiar passage in 2Chron. 7:14 says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The author Tommy Tenney has an extensive ministry to those who seek the Lord (God Chasers).
In the Psalms we are given both positive and negative examples of seeking. Psalm 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” In contrast, in Psalm 63:1, David says, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” There are many more examples of seekers after God in the Psalms.
The Proverbs give us many examples of the folly of seeking after things, rather than seeking after God. There are passages about seeking good, seeking wisdom, seeking knowledge, seeking advice, seeking one’s own honour, seeking favour from rulers, etc., etc. Not that these things being sought are not good or not worthy of seeking, but that they are sought as substitutes for our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
I think that far too often, many people, even well-grounded Christians, fall into the trap of seeking that which the Lord can give to us rather than seeking Him. Much of the 6th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew warns us against worrying about physical, temporal things. It concludes with a verse that most Christians know, but many have difficulty in following. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
To some degree the eagerness with which we seek physical blessings is matched by the fervor with which we seek spiritual blessings and gifts; after all, the Apostle Paul encouraged us to “eagerly desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1). The difficulty, as I see it, is that people want the gifts, the blessings, without paying the dues of developing a relationship with the Giver. To that end, I believe that rather than seeking the gift, we should seek the Gift Giver.
Rather than seeking Blessing, seek the One who Blesses.
Rather than seeking Provision, seek the Provider.
Rather than seeking Victory, seek the Victor.
Rather than seeking Healing, seek the Healer.
Rather than seeking Deliverance, seek the Deliverer.
Rather than seeking Redemption, seek the Redeemer.
Rather than seeking Peace, seek the Prince of Peace.
Rather than seeking Revelation, seek the Revealer.
Rather than seeking Manifestations of the Spirit, seek the Holy Spirit.
Rather than seeking Tongues, seek He who created the tongue.
Rather than seeking The Baptism, seek the Baptizer
Again, all of these things we seek (and this is just a sampling) are good in their own right, but we seek them as an end in and of themselves rather than as a result of our seeking after God. I believe Jesus’ statement in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” is as pertinent in this respect as it is regarding our physical needs and wants.
What are you seeking?