What Does It Mean To Seek The Lord, And How Do We Do This?

To seek the Lord means to turn to God, to desire to be in a relationship with him, and to come into his presence for fulfillment, strength and help. But before we can ever begin to seek him, God must do something first in our lives. Because if left to ourselves, we would never seek the Lord. He tells us in Romans:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12

As fallen humans we do seek. We seek happiness, fulfillment, success, and as many of this world’s pleasures as we can get. But we don’t seek these things from God. We don’t seek to find happiness and fulfillment in him. We can’t imagine that God can offer us any kind of pleasure or joy.

That is why God sought us out first. Why would God want a relationship with us who rejected him, spit in his face, broke his laws, and had no interest in him? He needed nothing from us. From all eternity he was complete and lacked nothing. He didn’t need us to make him happy. Yet he created us to know him and find joy and satisfaction in him.

But we didn’t want God’s joy or a relationship with him. Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, so they ate the forbidden fruit. The human race fell into sin and darkness and deception. And from that time on, humans have looked to anything and everything but God for satisfaction and joy.

Before We Seek The Lord, The Lord Seeks Us Out

We had nothing to offer him. But God sent his Son to bring us to himself. As Jesus said to Zacchaeus,

“Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

And God said in Ezekiel:

As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. Ezekiel 34.12

And Jesus said in John:

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16

The only reason we seek the Lord is because Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

He sought us first. If we have any desire to seek God it is because he first worked in our hearts.

What Does It Mean To Seek The Lord?

It means to seek his presence. To desire a relationship with him. To come to him for help.

Why should we seek the Lord? Because we are lacking, weak and needy. We seek him to give us something, to help us.

What Do We Seek From The Lord?

First of all, we seek the Lord for salvation, forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

We can’t save ourselves. The word “save” implies we are in danger or enslaved and need to be rescued. Before we turn to Jesus to save us, we are in danger of eternal destruction in hell. We are under God’s judgment for our sins against him. And we can’t save ourselves. We can’t wash ourselves clean. We are in danger of God’s punishment and wrath for our rebellion. But Jesus came to save us from these dangers by taking our sins upon himself and receiving the wrath of God for them upon the cross.

When we seek the Lord to save us, we call upon him to forgive us and wash away our sins not because of anything we do but because of all that Jesus did. But even after Jesus saves us, we still need to seek him on a regular basis. Here are some other things we need to seek him for.

We Seek The Lord’s Presence

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4

Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah Psalm 24:6

To seek the Lord’s face is to seek his presence. To seek his presence means to seek a vibrant, personal relationship with God.

We Seek The Lord For Wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, Proverbs 3:13

Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:5

We need the very wisdom of God to live a life that pleases him. We need God’s wisdom to avoid sin and temptation. And if we ask him for it, he promises to give it to us.

We Seek The Lord For His Guidance

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

You guide me with Your counsel, and later receive me in glory. Psalm 73:24

We Seek The Lord For Strength

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. NASB

We Seek The Lord For Joy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

We See The Lord For Peace And Deliverance

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?…Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”Psalm 27:1, 7-8

We seek the Lord for help and strength and grace to love the unlovable. We seek the Lord for grace to love our spouse and children. We seek the Lord for direction in life.

How Do We See The Lord?

Do we go out in the woods and wait for a sign? Do we flip a coin and say, “Heads, I try to find a job; tails I keep living at home with Dad and Mom for the rest of my life.” Here are several ways the Bible tells us to seek the Lord.

Bible Intake (reading and listening to Scripture)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

Reading the Bible is the starting place for seeking the Lord. God speaks to us, leads us, guides us, and reveals his heart to us through his word. He tells us how to live in a way that pleases him. He tells us what he is like; his mind, his standards, his love for us. Try to cultivate a habit of spending time in God’s word on a regular basis.

Prayer

Jesus encourages us to seek the Lord in prayer:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Listen to solid Bible teaching and preaching

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

Read solid Bible-based books, blogs and articles. When we listen to preaching or read books on doctrine, we are seeking God through his word contained in those sources, and God will speak to us through preaching and books. We must remember though, that only God’s word is inspired by God. The role of the preacher or writer is to unpack the meaning of God’s word so we might understand it better, and to apply it to our lives. Sermons and books can really help us to seek God, but we always must remember that only the Word of God is inspired and infallible.

Fellowship with other believers

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

When we go to a fellowship group or a bible study, we are seeking the Lord. God will encourage us through one another. He causes his word to dwell in us as we worship together and teach one another.

Fasting

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18

So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. Ezra 8:23

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. Daniel 9:3

Jesus said fasting was a way to be “seen” or heard by our Father. A way to pray to him and seek him.  Daniel specifically says he was seeking the Lord God with fasting, along with his prayers and pleas. I believe the Lord will honor any fast we do, even if we only skip one meal.

Seek God in faith

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. Hebrews 11:6

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We do not seek the Lord in vain. God hears our prayers. Our heavenly Father cares for us and loves us. He wants us to draw near with confidence, with faith. When we seek God it is never in vain.

Seek him today. If you have never turned to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, seek him and he will save you and give you eternal life. If you are seeking him for your children or your future or for joy in him, know that we never seek the Lord in vain. He hears your prayers and will answer them in his perfect timing and perfect way.

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