“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV)
I am thankful that God does not hide from us! He can and will be our friend, even our best friend. He is not holding back until we are perfect. He does not expect us to overcome all of our doubts first. If we genuinely pursue a friendship with Him, it will happen. He has promised!
Seeking God requires trust and humility. We may not understand everything in His Word, but we can trust it is true and desire to understand more. We may not have experienced everything He promises – in fact, it may seem we have experienced the opposite — but we can humbly accept His Word is true and His love for us is perfect. Seeking God means we want to see God clearly so we can make Him our best friend. Far more life seeks God in trust and humility.
In our sinful, human woundedness, sometimes we approach God from the wrong perspective. Instead of seeking Him, we test Him. Testing God starts from a place of doubt. We do not believe what His Word says because it has not felt true in our lives. We challenge God to give us experiences that disprove what we believe and prove the truth of His Word. Since we do not trust God, we put up barriers that prevent Him from being our best friend.
Some people we read about in the Bible were seeking God, but others were testing Him. It would be nice if the Bible clearly stated who fell into each camp, but it does not. However, as we study the Scriptures we can tell the difference.
The story of Gideon is recorded in Judges chapter 6 and 7. An angel — and later God — spoke to Gideon and told him amazing things God wanted to do through Him. Gideon did not accept the assignment until his doubts were addressed.
Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” (Judges 6:36-37, NLT)
God patiently and lovingly met Gideon where He was and fulfilled his request. He was not threatened by Gideon’s doubts and questions. Rather than recognizing God’s protection and provision, Gideon was angry or bitter about his circumstances. He was not seeing God clearly and, as a result, He tested God rather than pursuing Him as his best friend. God included Gideon in His plan and accomplished great things through him, but Gideon appears to have missed out on far more life.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, did the opposite. In Luke chapter 1, the angel brought incredible news: she was going to birth the Messiah. After asking how this would happen, Mary accepted the angels’ response.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38, NLT)
Later in this chapter and throughout the gospels, we catch glimpses of how Mary continued to trust God and better understand Him. Her life demonstrates that when we see God clearly, we make Him our best friend. She trusted Him — even when she did not understand His ways — and experienced far more life.
We have the opportunity to be best friends with the most powerful being in the universe! And we get to choose whether we will trust Him or test Him. Far more life is a desire to seek Him and a willingness to unearth the beliefs that tempt us to test Him. The next post in this series will look at some common distortions that keep us from making God our best friend ever. And keep us from enjoying far more life.
Think of a time you have wholeheartedly sought God. Did you find Him?
Think of a time when you have tested God. How did that turn out different from times you sought Him?
How have you experienced God’s protection, provision, and love?
When have you been frustrated because God did not do what you wanted or expected?
Talk to God about the times you have tested Him. Thank Him for the times you have seen Him clearly and sought Him. Embrace far more life in those moments!