“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
God tells us that if we will seek for Him with all our heart we’ll find Him, but there is a problem with this. Sin has so corrupted us that we are unable to wholeheartedly seek God without God’s help. “No one is righteous, no, not one… no one understands, no one seeks God.” (Romans 3:10-11)
It’s sad, but even though we are able to be wholehearted about football or shopping or even our version of religion or church, it is not in us to wholeheartedly seek God without the Holy Spirit first inviting and freeing us to do so. When He reveals our sin, we are able to wholeheartedly ask for forgiveness; when He shows us our emptiness, we are able to wholeheartedly ask for His fullness; and when He shows us the depth of our need, we are able to wholeheartedly ask for His help; but when left to ourselves we are apathetic toward God. Even when the Holy Spirit is helping us discern our dependence, we are able to harden our hearts instead of seeking God. (Hebrews 3:15) We do have a role to play.
The scripture quoted above from Jeremiah is in the context of the Jewish captivity in Babylon. Is it any wonder that right before the verse quoted above, God assures them of His purpose for them, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The judgment they were going through was not because God didn’t love them, or because He was mean and didn’t want them to have prosperous lives. It was because they weren’t listening without these extreme measures. Even then, they had a choice, and so do we today. If everything is stripped from us we can either be offended with God, or allow our desperate situation help us to be wholehearted in our seeking of Him.
Jesus died on a cross so that we could find forgiveness, help in time of need, a sure promise for the future, and a living relationship with God right now. So let’s respond quickly to the Spirit’s promptings and make this relationship our greatest priority while trusting God’s goodness for everything else.