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Seeking God

When I was younger, I would go to the library and check out “Where’s Waldo” books. It provided page after page of hard searches. I would spend lots of time scouring the pages to see if I could find him with that red and white striped beanie. There were always distractions and decoys to throw me off. When I couldn’t find him, I would start at the top left and work across to the right, looking at every face in there going from top to bottom. Sometimes it was easy to find him, and other times I really had to search. There were even times when I required the help of others to make my search successful. It taught me to seek and to search and to not give up when it didn’t happen right away.

The Bible tells us over and over to seek God’s face. Sometimes it can feel like a Where’s Waldo book. How can I seek the face of God when I can’t see Him? But there’s a promise in Jeremiah 29:13. It says, “You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart” (GNT). When I can’t seem to find Him in my seeking, I wonder if I gave up too early or of I searched for Waldo longer than I searched for God. Unlike Waldo, God wants to be found. He reveals Himself to us, but we must seek Him with all of our heart. Our desire to find Him, to know Him and to hear from Him has to be stronger than our desire to do other things. God is able to be found when we’re seeking Him wholeheartedly.

Psalm 27:8 says, “Lord, when you said to me, ‘Seek my face,’ my inner being responded, ‘I’m seeking your face with all my heart.’” God is worthy of us seeking Him with our whole heart. That means we cut out distractions, open His Word, spend quiet time in His presence and ask to see Him. I’m often guilty of seeking His hand to provide for my needs rather than His face so I can see Him. There’s a lot of debate about what does it mean to “seek God’s face”. I think it means to search for His recognizable attributes. If you seek those, you will discover more of who God is. He’s not hiding from those who seek Him, but He can only be found when we’re searching and looking for Him. He’s calling each of us to seek Him. Like the author of the Psalm, we must reply, “I’m seeking you with my whole heart.” Pray today that God would open your eyes to see Him as you seek Him.

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

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Looking For God

Last night we went outside to see the Neowise comet. After waiting until it was dark enough to see it, I decided to go get my barely used telescope. I struggled to bring it into view. So I decided on an easier target to find in space: the moon. After checking out some of the craters, we started looking for meteors since there’s a meteor shower peaking this week. As we looked east, we saw Jupiter and Saturn. I decided to try to get them in my telescope expecting to see little dots. Instead, we were able to see 3 moons around Jupiter and even a few bands of gas. When I then moved it to Saturn and we could see the rings, my son flipped out. He started crying saying how beautiful it was and how it was better than he ever imagined. I had him read Psalm 19:1. After he read it, through his sobs, he said, “Now I believe in God more!”

God reveals Himself to every one of us through different things. Ravi Zacharias once said that God put enough of Himself in creation for you to find Him, yet He hid enough of Himself in it that you could miss Him if you weren’t looking. Most of us go through our daily lives so focused on our tasks or problems that we rarely look for how God is revealing Himself to us. He uses different means to make Himself known to us, but we must be looking with intentionality. John 1 tells of how all of creation was made through Jesus. Then in verse 10 it says that when He came into the world to reveal Himself, we didn’t even notice and were unaware. We can’t be caught unaware of what God is trying to reveal today.

Here are some Bible verses on how God reveals Himself to us.

1. How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next.

Psalm 19:1-2 GNT

2. So he said, “When you pray, say, Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”

Luke 11:2-4 MSG

3. So then, let us [who minister] be regarded as servants of Christ and stewards (trustees, administrators) of the mysteries of God [that He chooses to reveal].

1 Corinthians 4:1 AMP

4. He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”

Daniel 2:20-23 NLT

5. Pour out even more of your love on us! Reveal more of your kindness and restore us back to you!

Psalms 85:7 TPT

Thanks to @grakozy for making this photo available freely on @unsplash


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Seeking God Daily

One of my father in law’s favorite activities is doing word search puzzles. They’re the ones where it’s a box of alphabet letters with words hidden in them. The word your looking for could be vertical, backwards, diagonal, or regular. It takes concentration, persistence, and determination at times to find these words. Sometimes, when he can’t find a word, he asks for help from someone else. An outside set of eyes often provides a fresh perspective in finding the words.

To me, finding God can be like one of those puzzles. He’s hidden in our daily lives among the things we’re used to seeing each and every day. It takes concentration, persistence, and determination to find Him in our daily lives. Often times, someone else comes along and points Him out to us while we are seeking Him. Sometimes we’re looking for Him to be hidden and He’s right there in plain sight.

One of the things we do at our nightly devotions with teams who go on a mission trip to Haiti is to ask them, “Where did you see Jesus today?” The first night is usually pretty quiet because so many of us live our lives knowing God is always with us, but we fail to look for Him. We trust He’s there, but we don’t take the time to search for Him daily and to seek Him. God’s desire is that we move past just an acknowledgment of His presence and that we would seek it daily.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (MSG). When is the last time you searched for God in your daily life? He wants us to seek His presence daily and to see a His hand at work in our lives and in the lives of others. If we’re not careful, we’ll miss it. He wants to be found by us, but are we seeking Him?


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Dead End Relationships

Have you ever been in a dead end relationship? The kind where you know it’s going no where, but don’t know what to do. You can choose to keep going, but sooner or later, you know you’re going to find an abrupt halt because you’re getting nothing out of the relationship. All it does is take from you emotionally and drains you physically until you feel trapped in it. You feel like you can’t breathe the longer it goes on because it’s strangling you. That’s what continuing in a life of sin is like.

It might be fun for a while, but ultimately, it’s a dead end. Paul described it this way in Romans 6:20-22, “As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end” (MSG). The longer you live opposed to God’s way, the less fulfilled you become. You begin to feel trapped much like a dead end relationship.

The way out of a dead end relationship is to break off all ties. The same thing is true for ending your relationship with a life that is opposed to God’s way. You have to cut off the ties that would lead you back to that life. You have to embrace the freedom that God gives. The funny thing is that living for God is painted as a list of don’t’s that will keep you from really living. It’s the opposite that’s true. You will never know what true freedom is until you surrender your will to God’s and give up the sin you’ve been holding on to.

Living the way you want ends in spiritual death, but living the way God wants you to live ends up with spiritual life. Romans 6:23 says, “Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” If you’re looking to have your life healed and put back together, break ties with sin, and submit to God. Live for Him and you’ll find the relationship you’ve been looking for that has no end.

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Rejected By The Church

I read an article yesterday about a teenage orphan in Florida who decided to be proactive in finding adoptive parents. He chose to go to church and address the congregation in order to see if someone would make him their child. He was born to a woman who was in jail and immediately taken into social services. The only thing his mom gave him was his name. He spent most of his life being angry at his situation and pushing people and prospective parents away hoping his birth parents would show up one day.

While searching for them, he found out that they were both deceased. He had to make a choice to continue being angry or to let it go. He chose the latter. His grades began to improve and he began to become the person he knew he was inside. His comments are what stuck out to me the most in this article. He said he had never had a home or felt loved. He said, “I’ll take anyone. Old young. Black, white or purple… I would be appreciative.” And then the article finished with him saying, “I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”

My mind wants to go in so many ways with this. His whole life, all he’s wanted is what all of us want, to be loved. He wanted it from his birth parents, but now that’s not a possibility. He now will take it from anyone. Thankfully he reached out to a church. Sadly, no one offered to adopt him. I’m hoping at least someone there had a burden to show him love, to accept him for who he is, and to begin to fill the void in his life. He knows he’s going to be on his own in a couple of years and would love having the support of a family. That’s something most of us take for granted.

He said that he’d take anyone. He’s like a lot of people in this world. They’re broken and hurt. They’re looking for a place to belong. Are our churches a place where people like him can find refuge from their pain? Or are they a clique for the self righteous who feel they’re better than others? Have we become like the Pharisee in Luke 18 who looked up to Heaven and said, “I thank you, God, that I’m not a sinner everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth of my income”? Have we become so caught up in our traditions and rituals that we’ve turned a blind eye to those reaching out to us?

This kid found rejection where he should have found acceptance. He found doubt in a place of faith. He was looking for love and walked away empty handed. May God forgive us for all of the times people like him have walked through our doors and walked out alone. May He open our eyes to those who come in this week and give us the courage to be His hands and feet. May we be His expression of love and acceptance to those the world has rejected. May we be a safe haven for those who need to find a refuge. If God hasn’t given up on them, neither should we. Let’s open our eyes today and find someone who needs love and offer it to them. Both of your lives will forever change.

If you’d like to read the article I referenced, you can read it here.

Update: Over 10,000 people have now inquired about adopting this young man! See that article here.


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