I remember, as a young Christian, being told to keep ‘seeking the Lord’, yet at the time didn’t fully grasp what this actually meant. Hopefully, over the years, I think I have a little more idea.
Initially, I understood this to refer to when I first ‘came to Christ’, but I’ve come to realise it’s not just about a ‘one-off’ experience, but daily we need to seek God’s guidance for our lives.
There are numerous occasions in the Old Testament where we read, ‘As long as ….. sought the Lord, God gave them success’. As you read of the kings of Israel and Judah, they were responsible for leading the people either towards God or away from Him, although admittedly even if the King did right in God’s eyes the people wouldn’t always follow.
Josiah’s true repentance led to him re-establishing the Passover Celebrations; he didn’t always get it right but he ‘sought’ to bring the nation back to God again (2 Chronicles 34-35). David and Hezekiah ‘did what was right in the eyes of the Lord’ for many years, but eventually, pride got the better of them. Even David, despite being a man after God’s own heart, came to believe he could have anything he wanted and committed adultery with Bathsheba. Later his baby son died, and other sons fought against him and challenged him for the throne of Israel.
Hezekiah purified and re-established the temple of the Lord but years later when the big test came, he glorified his own efforts and accomplishments rather than God’s.
2 Chronicles 15:1-2 reminds us of the advice that Azariah gave King Asa. King Asa was King of Judah and made it his priority to remove all foreign and pagan worship and decree that the God of Israel be the centre of their worship.
The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon Him he will abandon you.2 Chronicles 15:2
As the nation obeyed these words, a time of peace was enjoyed for 35 years.
We can start out so well, following the Lord closely and full of good intentions, but our proximity to God as we go through life will determine how we finish. Repeatedly the Bible mentions ‘pride’ as causing kings and others to fall away from God’s way and rely on their own success and power rather than on God’s, resulting in an inglorious end.
I’m sure, at times, many of us have done our own thing rather than seek God about a situation that we are facing or a decision that we have to make or a challenge that we need to overcome. Often we ‘take the bull by horns’ do our own thing then remember we should have ‘sought the Lord’ first!
We know that Jesus constantly, repeatedly and consistently sought God when He walked on earth. He kept close to His Father through His persistent focus on prayer and God’s presence, proving that total and complete dependence on God enables us to stick with the plan, and yields extraordinary results.
‘Seek God FIRST – don’t make Him an afterthought’!