It’s a great thing to want to know the truth about God. According to Jesus, those who seek find what they’re looking for.
Some who seek don’t yet believe in God; others believe, but aren’t sure how to connect with God. What all seekers have in common is an openness to the possibility God may exist, and more importantly, that He may want a place in their lives. They know they don’t know, but they want to know.
How do you go about this all-important task of pursuing God and His truth? The following outline doesn’t claim to be the final and authoritative word on the subject, but here are some thoughts for you to ponder.
We suggest that you begin reading the Bible with the Gospel of John. Here you will meet Jesus at the most personal level described in the New Testament.
What’s your reason?
People seek God for a variety of reasons. Some think their search will lead to a more fulfilling life or a greater sense of purpose. Others are looking for relief from their pain. Still others are curious and just want to find out what’s true.
It’s good to be aware of your aspirations and motivations, because you may be looking for the wrong thing. For example, you may be simply seeking to find greater happiness or peace. Fair enough. But what if you find God and your life’s circumstances or inner feelings don’t immediately change for the better? Will you feel cheated or that you’ve barked up the wrong tree? It’s true that believers often report that God gives them greater joy, meaning and purpose in life. But truth be told, believing in God and receiving Jesus as your Savior does not make one immune from the pressures or disappointments of life. Instead, faith provides the stability and the tools for doing life.
So this is a good question to ask yourself: What am I looking for? And, conversely, What does God offer me? As you read God’s book, the Bible, you’ll discover how much He’s already given. But He may not give you exactly what you’ve anticipated. So expect the unexpected, and make it your goal to find God, no matter what the outcome or perks. The bottom line is that a true seeker seeks the Giver of life, not just His gifts.
What Will You Find?
You might find you’ve placed some limitations on God. Especially in terms of the role God wants to play in your life. For example, two people who have fallen deeply in love don’t go into marriage with the intention of ignoring each other’s wishes after the wedding ceremony. Such a commitment involves adjusting personal priorities in the interest of building the relationship. When they establish their residence, for example, a couple will usually discuss at length the furnishings, wall hangings, and other touches that will make their house a home. In the same way, it would be illogical for a seeker to open up to God but give no thought to the possibility that God may want to rearrange a few pieces of furniture when He moves in.
Of course some folks might be afraid that God wants to throw out all the furniture and condemn the house as unlivable. Fact is, you may want to get rid of some things in your life. God will help you do that in due time. The good news is that Jesus loves us just as we are. But He loves us enough not to just leave us there. Over time, through a process of prayer, receiving God’s Word in the Bible and encouragement from other followers of Jesus, your life will begin to change. In wonderful ways!
In a word, what you’ll find when you seek God through Jesus Christ is a relationship. Not just a religion. Becoming a follower of Jesus by humbly receiving Him in simple faith as your Savior means nurturing a relationship with Him as your Lord and Friend. You can actually receive Jesus as your Savior right in your own home or at your workspace. You can do it right now. Your prayer from the heart can go something like this: “Dear Jesus, I admit to You that I’m a sinner. But You already know that! What I want You to know now is that I am ready to receive You as my Savior. I invite You into my heart as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. I don’t know all that is involved in following You, but I do know I need You. Thank you for coming into my heart. I’m now ready, if a little unsure of all it means, to follow You, to obey You and to live for Your glory. Thanks so much for Your love, for Your grace, and for this moment when I really began my relationship with You. I’m ready to go with You from here. Amen.”