SEEKING GOD - PART 3
By Colleen Donahue
In our first study on seeking God, we learned that God loves us and wants us back in a relationship with Him. He has provided a plan of redemption for us that would deal with the sins we have committed, and our sin nature so that we can be reconciled to Him. God truly wants us to find Him -- so much so -- that He has provided for us all that is needed to make things right again.
In our second study, we learned that all of us can seek God but there are some qualifications. We must believe that God exists and humble ourselves so that we are willing to be taught. We must be thirsty for God and diligently seek Him with all our hearts.
In our poverty of spirit, we must come as a sinner ready to repent of our independence of Him. And then we must be willing to trust and obey the things He will certainly show us.
We are not worthy to seek God but nevertheless we are invited to come. Our preparation for this is a confession of our sins and independence from God. That will lead to genuine repentance and acknowledgment that the Lord God Almighty is our God and we are ready to serve Him with our whole heart.
Finally, we discussed in the second study "who" we are seeking. The word "god" has as many shades of meaning as it has had throughout the centuries. But the true God whom we seek is the one eternal God, who is the Creator, the Lord of Heaven and earth, and that has manifested Himself in His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore it's in Jesus Christ that we will see the face of God. It's in Jesus that we are reconciled to God. Therefore we must seek for Jesus if we are to find God.
Let's continue now in our last study with .....
How Do We Begin To Seek God - Part 3
WHERE DO WE FIND GOD? - NATURE
Day 1- We ended our introduction to this study that we must seek for Jesus if we are to see God. But God gives us first the works of his hands -- all of creation for us to begin with. What message does nature give to men about our creator? Three things are given to us in these verses.
Psalm 19: 1-2 / Psalm 97:6a
Notice that the beauty of nature can be understood by all of mankind. It transcends all languages and cultures.
Therefore how far does the message travel?
Psalm 19:4 / Psalm 97: 6b
Day 2- Nature is God's testimony as to who He is. And how does He often use it?
Day 3- In day 1 we saw that nature proclaims God's glory to us, it shows the works of His hands and tells us of His righteousness. Now in this verse, we see that nature also tells us of God's eternal power and divine nature. Therefore what is the conclusion of men and women who see all this beauty and grandeur and reject the God who made it -- or just ignore Him?
Our Father loves us so much that He has given men everywhere plenty of clues to draw them to Himself. Everywhere in the world, we can see the sun rise and set. We can experience the seasons come and go. We can look at rich colors over the sky and the earth. We can hear the birds sing. We can smell the ocean, or the rain forest or the desert. A walk through nature untouched by men is like viewing a living painting that gives us clues about the artist. This is why we go walking in the woods, or the fields, or along the ocean when we need to think or heal or find some solitude. We may not realize it but we go out to find the God behind the events of our lives.
WHERE TO WE FIND GOD? - HIS WORD
The Bible is what is referred to as "the word of God". It is beyond the scope of this study to show how the Bible differs from every other "holy book" ever written but under COURSES on the web site is one called "Is the Bible History or Myth" which you may find helpful.
Day 4- First we must see that "the word" began in eternity with God.
It stands firm today and in every generation. It reaches into eternity because God is in eternity.
Isaiah 40:8 / Matthew 24:35 / 1 Peter 1:25
Day 5- God's word was written by men whom God inspired to write. Men were the scribes but God is the author. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were two such scribes.
Jeremiah 36:2 / Ezekiel 1:3
Day 6- The Bible is full of prophecy (predictions of the future) which have come about in perfect detail. How could this happen?
2 Peter 1:20-21
Day 7- Therefore throughout the centuries what four things has the Bible been useful for?
2 Timothy 3:16
Day 8- Besides teaching us, rebuking us, correcting us, and training us in righteousness, the Bible is food for our souls. If you persist in being faithful to read the Bible what will it eventually become to you?
Psalm 119:103 / Jeremiah 15:16
WARNING: Satan, the enemy of our souls absolutely hates when he sees anyone of us opening a Bible. You will suddenly feel yourself sleepy, hungry, bored, or daydreaming. In the early days of reading, you will have to press on through an avalanche of "negatives". If you know this in advance you will at least be aware that there will be opposition. Just press on and you will experience words that will become sweeter than honey. You will begin to know the God that wrote these words.
Day 9- As new seekers of God, we are to crave God's word. What is it likened to in this verse?
1 Peter 2:2
Just like the protein and calcium found in milk gets into a child's bones to make him strong, so God's word is meant to move from our minds to our hearts with one major benefit.
Day 10- Besides keeping us from sinning against God the word will have many other benefits for your life. Here are a few.
Psalm 19:8 / Psalm 119: 104-105, 130
Day 11- We are to examine all that we hear and learn against scripture. Why?
The Bible is our standard for truth. God will never ask us to do something that goes against His word.
WHERE DO WE FIND GOD? - IN JESUS.
God has given to men three tangible ways to find Him. He has shown Himself through what He has made and all of nature testifies to His power, His beauty, and His ingenious creativity.
Then God has spoken to us from eternity. He anointed certain men to write down his message. He did this by giving them his own Spirit so they could write accurately. That message takes the form of history, stories, poems, and songs so that all of mankind can understand and relate to it.
A book is only as reliable as its author and the Bible was set forth by God who was "in the beginning" -- someone who is eternal and knows the end from the beginning. When we turn to the Bible to find answers to life's problems it will inevitably point us to knowing God Himself. The Old Testament points to the Son of God who would be born on earth at a certain time. God was going to come personally to earth in the form of His Son Jesus so that men and women would be able to tangibly see God in action.
Day 12- If you major in the scriptures and never come to know Jesus (the Son of God) then you will be filled with head knowledge but never come to know the heart of God, which is love. That was the exact situation at the time that Jesus lived. He came to live amongst "his own" -- God's special people the Jews. The Jewish leadership (scribes and Pharisees) spent all their days studying the scriptures and writing volumes of man-made rules and regulations that they thought would be useful for finding favor with God. They took great pride in their stellar behavior and looked down at the common man who was not enlightened as they were. Therefore while the common man was off listening to Jesus and being touched by his love and miracles these leaders were completely missing him! And one day Jesus confronted them about this.
Day 13- His words could not have been more clear. The scripture is written to lead us to know the Son of God who will, in turn, lead us to know God the Father, the Creator of Heaven and earth. In Jesus, we have a personal guide and it is imperative that we come to know Him. Why?
God has not just given us an instruction book and a map to find him. He has sent us his own Son to walk with us. In Jesus, we find the truth about God. And in Jesus, we discover the life that God meant for us to have in the first place.
John 14: 7-11
Day 14- But the scribes and the Pharisees loved being experts in the word and writing volumes of rules and regulations. In their minds, they were the "cream of the crop" in regards to their righteous behavior. They had no time for this common carpenter that was claiming to be the Son of God. Once again Jesus confronts them. What does he plainly tell them this time is going to happen? (He tells them two times in this one verse!)
IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD?
That brings us to the world's adamant objection that Jesus can't be the only way we come to know God. That's too narrow a path.
Every day we follow certain paths to get what we want. For example: if you want a passport you get the official form, have your picture taken a certain way and size, and then submit it with a certain amount of money. You wouldn't make up your own form, send a picture of you and your family, and then send a check for less than the specified amount. Why? Because you wouldn't get your passport!
Or, let's say you want a meeting with your state senator from New York. There is a certain protocol required starting with a phone call to that senator's office. If you decide to call the senate office in New Jersey instead of New York you can be sure you won't get a meeting with the senator from New York.
Every day we follow ONE path that leads to what we want. How difficult is it to believe that God has ONE path whereby man can be reconciled to Him?
Day 15- There is only one problem that man has. This problem is the same all over the universe.
Psalm 53:3 / Isaiah 64:6 / Romans 3:23
Day 16- The problem of sin began with an act of Adam and that has led to universal condemnation.
Romans 5: 17-19
Now if you re-read these same verses you see God's solution to our sin problem.
Romans 5: 17-19
The work of Christ in going to the cross is God's answer to the plight of the whole human race.
And Christ's resurrection from the dead is the answer to the universal human misery of death.
1 Corinthians 15:21 - 23
Day 17- The problem between God and man is one -- SIN. Therefore God has sent one mediator to deal with this problem.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
And this one mediator -- Jesus -- is sufficient for everyone in the entire world. God planned one Savior for all people for all time.
Acts 4:12 / Revelations 5:9-10
Day 18- Therefore with such a solution available to all men, the whole world is now held accountable to God for sin. Reread Romans 3:23
And if we claim that we have no sin in our life what is evident to God and other men?
1 John 1:8
And what does this make God out to be?
1 John 1:10
Day 19- It is through Jesus that our sin problem is cured and we are made right with God. Jesus has done this work for every one of us. But, every one of us must make a decision to accept this gift from God and to walk in it. Our personal decision is necessary because God will never violate the free will He has given us.
Acts 2:21 / Romans 3:22 / Romans 10:13 / 1 John 1:9
NOTE: For further study on this there is a course called "Man's problem, God's cure" under COURSES on this site.
Day 20- Believing in Jesus and acknowledging his saving work on your behalf is a little like filling in the correct application form. When our Father sees his Son's blood over your life, He sees a man or woman that He can stamp: PARDONED, FORGIVEN, RESTORED!
And it's at this point that each of us become freed to truly seek God. Why?
John 5:24 / Romans 8:1
Day 21- Are you wondering, "Is there an official way to receive Jesus and if so how do I do that"? There is. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. If you hear his voice and open that door what is promised?
Once Jesus is allowed into your life here are the steps that each of us must take. They aren't even steps you need to memorize for Jesus will naturally lead you into them.
Day 22- First, you need to agree with God that you are a sinner like everyone else in the universe.
Second, you need to confess and repent of your sins, and the years that you have walked independently from God without regard for Him. If you don't know what your sins are, then ask God to reveal them to you. Wait until He shows them to you. As he does, agree with Him that it is true, and repent of everything He shows you at this time.
Isaiah 55:7 / Acts 3:19
NOTE: Confession and repentance will be ongoing in life because God will not overwhelm us with everything all at once. Today he'll give light about three things in your life and that is what you confess and repent of. In a month He may show you something else.
Third, accept the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation that God has provided you by Christ's death and resurrection.
Fourth, commit or consecrate your whole life to walking with Jesus -- in dependence upon Him.
Proverbs 23:26 / Romans 12:1
Fifth, Enjoy His presence every day through His Holy Spirit that He gives to every child of God. The Holy Spirit is given to be our guide and helper as we walk through life. From now on we are never alone.
If you are at the place where you are ready to commit your life to Christ then this prayer might be helpful to you as you express your heart to God.
Dear Father, I see that I am a sinner. I was born with a sin nature and so far in my life, I have lived according to my will, not yours. You have shown me these specific sins today (name them). I agree with you that they are sins against you. I repent of each sin that you have shown me and intend to turn from them. I accept the fact that while I deserve to die for these sins, Jesus had done that in my place. He has satisfied the justice that you require and I am now free to have a relationship with you.
I choose today to commit the rest of my life to walk in partnership with Jesus and I receive the Spirit of Jesus (His Holy Spirit) to be my personal guide and helper. Thank you for such a wonderful salvation that is able to restore me completely to be the person you want me to be. From henceforth I am your child and I look forward to living the rest of my life with you! Amen.
HOW DO YOU SEEK GOD?
We finally come to the "how" question after learning who can seek for God, which God we are seeking for and where do we find Him?
Day 23- In the first study on seeking God, we saw that the only reason we can seek God in the first place is because He loves us and draws us to Himself.
Jeremiah 31:3 / John 12:32
Day 24- If you are being drawn to seek God (and you wouldn't be doing this study if you weren't) then do as King David did. Ask God for his help in doing so. What specifically does he ask for?
Psalm 25: 4-5 / Psalm 61:2
Day 25- We can ask God's help because His Son Jesus has reconciled us to God through His death. We have been justified, which is "just-as-if-I'd-never-sinned". We can come as one of God's children.
Romans 5:1-2,8 / 1 John 3:1
Day 26- We can draw near to God with a sincere heart and full of faith that we will find Him because of Christ's work in justifying us. What happens when we have been justified?
Hebrews 9:14 / Hebrews 10:22
So many of us feel "dirty" inside and out because of our sin and the sins of the world that we see daily. The fact that the blood of Jesus cleanses us inside and out brings great relief and freedom. Why?
Day 27- It is this forgiveness by God that frees us to seek for Him with all our heart, and then know without a doubt that we will find Him.
If you are thirsty today would you consider studying God's creation, reading His Word, and walking in relationship with His Son Jesus? It will be the start of your life -- the one that God originally intended you to have.