“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD…” – God, Jeremiah 29:11-14 (emphasis mine)
This is very familiar to many of us. We love the part about God’s great plans for us filled with hope. Throw in a prosperous future and we are all over it! But do we (I) stop there and dismiss the latter part. MY part.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.” At a glance in certain translations He uses the same word, but in the original Hebrew, He doesn’t. Seek, He uses two slightly different words. In our seeking, we seek. Sounds like a nursery school rhyme.
The first ‘seek’ (baqash) is to search. We set out to find God, find His presence, call out to Him. This specifically is done through worship or prayer. We step into prayer and call on His name. The 2nd ‘seek’ (darash) is one of searching also, but it is MORE. It is a seeking to ‘find,’ an insistent searching. The verse implies ‘it is not sufficient to merely seek, but to also want the response to that seeking.’* It isn’t a haphazard, doing a quick ‘looksie’ over your shoulder, “Yup, I looked.” Kinda like sending our kids into their room to clean it, they come back out 10 minutes later, stating they cleaned it, when they just kicked the piles under their bed; it wasn’t done thoroughly or wholeheartedly.
I once read, God wants us to seek Him as a man seeks for gold. Gold miners didn’t get the map and just merely stand on the ridge from a distance, declaring “There’s gold in them hills” as they shielded their eyes from the sun. NO, they gathered their tools and with great determination they went to the hills! They dug, they worked with intensity until they FOUND! Until they got results, they sought until they got a response. THAT is how we are to seek, and in our seeking, we seek. THEN , in the very same breath, God said, “I will be found by you.” (Jer. 29:14)
David said, “My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.” He goes on to say in his earnest ‘seeking’ “Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my Helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.” (Ps. 27:8-9) THAT was both baqash and darash. He didn’t stop with seeking God out, he stayed, waited for a response.
In a nut shell, God is there, always there, it’s all about how we approach our seeking, He wants us ALL in. God wants it wholeheartedly. Do we deem Him important enough, like that of valuable gold nuggets? Do we move past the distance and with map in hand, we move out and get to digging?
“May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You, may those who love Your salvation always say “Let God be exalted!” – Ps. 70:4
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24
I love the line titles placed over each chapter in the bible. The one over Psalm 27 in the King James version is, ‘David sustains his faith by the power of God.’ Potent beginning. Four times within these 14 verses he states the driving force behind, ‘David sustains…’ What is it that causes the power of God to show up? What is the driving force? What is it that motivates his confession, “The Lord is the stronghold of my life.” (v1)
One word. Seek. “My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.” (v8) Often, we as God followers feel we are doing a just cause by ‘following’ God and His ways. And rightly so. However are we SEEKING Him in the full biblical sense? Not to be nit-picky but notice Davids heart tells him to seek God’s face, not His hand. Not what he can get from God, but wanting God Himself, His Presence.
We are instructed 35 times in the Old Testament alone to seek the Lord. The word seek is baqas, (pronounced ‘baw-kash) it is much more intense than just following. It conveys the idea of being driven, or even obsessed. The form of this Hebrew word is ‘present tense’, meaning you are NOW obsessively seeking the Lord. We are not putting if off for another day. A day when it is easier, convenient or even … more fun. (Dont let your eyes gloss over, this is GOOD!)
Multiple times it is said of those seeking the Lord, ‘prepare thine heart to seek God’ or ‘he set his heart to seek the Lord.’ It isn’t a hap-hazard take off running. It is full of purpose and positioning. This seeking is one of action; beseech and strive after. It connotes not only to search in earnest and to find it, but to SECURE it once it is found. In the negative, it was said of King Rehoboam, “He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.” (2 Chr 12:14) DUDE!
I know you know this verse, but please read it slowly: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.” – Jer 29:11-14 David gives strong instruction: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you…” – 1 Chr 28:9 I must add, to find God and Him being found by you, is an amazing word picture. It portrays the idea: In your search to come upon Him, in a meeting setting, you are present in His presence. Amen! Present in His presence.It’s a NOW thing! Not only are we told to seek God, but seek Him FIRST!
The New Testaments equivalent to baqas, is ekzeteo. (ek-zay-teh-o) To seek diligently or earnestly seek after. The author of Hebrews writes, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who EARNESTLY SEEK Him.” (Heb. 11:6, emphasis mine)
Are we seeking God? Is it our earnest desire to do so. Do we purpose in such a way that nothing else matters, are we even obsessed (in a good way) about Him and His word? Are we reading His word, are we praying? What is it that sustains us? What consumes us?
My dear friend, DeDe Gibbs says, “Don’t let your idle time become idol time.” She is a marathon runner, running is her thing. Some would say she is obsessed with it. But to know her, is to know as she runs, it is her Jesus time. Often I see her commenting on what God showed her while on her run; Insights, bible verses, results of prayer time. She seeks her God. Seeking God in such a way, He is found by her.
If we too were to have a ‘line title’ over us like that of Davids Psalm, what would it read right NOW?
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)